Vadodara: BSP supremo Mayawati on Saturday accused prime minister Narendra Modi of using BR Ambedkar's name for the sake of votes of weaker sections of society, and said OBC and Dalit leaders of the BJP would always remain "bonded labourers" of the RSS even if they become PM or CM.
Sounding the poll bugle in Modi's home state, she alleged the BJP believes in caste discrimination even today. Mayawati also warned that she and her supporters would embrace Buddhism if Hindu religious leaders did not change their attitude towards Dalits.
"Even if the BJP appoints a Dalit or an OBC leader as the chief of the party or as chief minister or prime minister, he would always remain a bonded labourer of the casteist and communal RSS, and would not be able to do much for backward classes," she said.
"I and my followers will embrace Buddhism if Hindu saints and Shankaracharyas do not change their behaviour and attitude towards Dalits," Mayawati said.
Mayawati's attack against the BJP came on a day Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani laid the foundation stone for the Ambedkar Sankalp Bhoomi memorial project in the city. "Modi calls himself an OBC but has done nothing for people of this section. He is using the name of Ambedkar only for garnering votes of Dalits," Mayawati told a rally to mark the centenary year of "Mahasankalp diwas".
Mahasankalp diwas is observed to mark the day Ambedkar is said to have resolved to change the way Dalits were treated in after he had to leave the city because of discrimination.
The BSP chief said that 23 September, 1917, was the day when Ambedkar decided to leave his job in Vadodara because of constant discrimination and insults. Mayawati, whose party was reduced to the margins in Uttar Pradesh after electoral setbacks, launched a scathing attack on the RSS, the BJP's ideological mentor.
Accusing Modi of "doing nothing" for Dalits in the last three years, Mayawati said the prime minister was making several promises to the community in view of elections in his home state.
"When elections come they (BJP) see Dalits as Hindus, but later they do not even like to sit with them people in BJP believe in caste discrimination even today," she said, adding that the VP Singh government had in 1990 conferred the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, on Ambedkar under the BSP's pressure.
She said the BJP was "unhappy" over the honour bestowed on Ambedkar and implementation of Mandal Commission's recommendations. Continuing her diatribe, the dalit leader alleged that Modi, during his stint as chief minister of Gujarat, did nothing for construction of a memorial to Ambedkar in Vadodara.
"After learning about my visit, chief minister Vijay Rupani laid the foundation stone for the Babasaheb Ambedkar 'sankalp bhoomi' project on the outskirts of the city. This shows the state government was very much worried about my visit," she said. Rupani laid the foundation stone for the memorial, which will be constructed by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC). Mayawati said if the state government failed to complete the project, the BSP would complete it after coming to power in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
She alleged atrocities against the weaker sections have gone up in the BJP-ruled states after the NDA government came to power in 2014.
Mayawati referred to Saharanpur cast violence in her home state earlier this year to defend her resignation from the Rajya Sabha before completion of her term. The proposed Ambedkar memorial project in Sayaji Baug will have a convention centre, an art gallery and a museum.
Earlier in the day, Rupani said his government had a special concern for the rights and security of Dalits.
Ambedkar had joined the royal family in Baroda after his return from Columbia University. He was in the service of the royal family from 1916 to 1917. Before leaving the city to launch the struggle against untouchability, Ambedkar had spent five hours at Sayaji Baug. His followers call the area 'Sankalp Bhoomi'.
The Dalit icon, who later became the architect of the Constitution, was sent to Columbia University on a scholarship by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the ruler of the erstwhile Baroda state.
Published Date: Sep 24, 2017 10:41 am | Updated Date: Sep 24, 2017 10:46 am