Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu launched the year-long celebrations of the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar in Vijayawada on Thursday by paying glowing tributes to the architect of the Indian Constitution.
At Jakkampudi village on the outskirts of Vijayawada, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the NTR Housing Scheme for weaker sections under which six lakh two-bedroom houses would be built across the state at a cost of Rs 16,000 crore.
Under the scheme, two lakh houses each would be built in rural and urban areas of the state while 1.5 lakh houses would be built under the NTR house renovation scheme.
Another 50,000 houses would be built under other schemes.
During its ten-year rule from 2004, the Congress government sanctioned Rs 42,000 crore for the weaker sections
housing but spent only Rs 12,000 crore, he said.
"Those houses built by the Congress are unfit to live in. Congress leaders only swindled money in the name of houses," the Chief Minister said, addressing a meeting.
Later, the Chief Minister garlanded the statue of Ambedkar at Tummalapalli Kalakshetram here and offered floral tributes.
Addressing a state function at A-Convention Centre here, marking the launch of the year-long celebrations of Ambedkar's birth anniversary, Chandrababu described Ambedkar as the father of Indian Constitution.
"Born in an ordinary family, Ambedkar rose to great heights. The Constitution he wrote has become the holy book
for all Indians," he said.
The government would build a 125-ft tall statue of Ambedkar at Amaravati, the state's new capital, which would be
"It will be one of the best statues in the country and one that will stand as an inspiration for everyone. We will
celebrate his 125th birth anniversary for a year so that Ambedkar's life and message will become a guiding spirit for all," the Chief Minister said.
Ambedkar Smriti Vanam would also be developed on a 15-acre site at Amaravati that would house a library, Buddhist Dhyana Kendram and convention centre, all at a cost of Rs 210 crore.
He administered a pledge on the occasion that everyone would follow the ideals of Ambedkar and strive to build a
society free of inequalities.
Ministers, MPs, MLAs and other leaders attended the events.