Ambedkar Jayanti: BJP, Congress trade barbs in Madhya Pradesh as they try to claim Dalit icon's legacy

Mhow, Madhya Pradesh: The BJP and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh hit out at each other, making desperate attempts to claim the legacy of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar on his 127th birth anniversary on Saturday.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accused the Congress of trampling the spirit of the Constitution by imposing Emergency in 1975. The opposition party hit back, alleging the BJP was talking about changing the Constitution.

Mhow, the birthplace of the social reformer, became the stage for both the parties to exchange bards.

The Congress launched "Save the Constitution" campaign, which the BJP claimed was a disrespect to Ambedkar.

 Ambedkar Jayanti: BJP, Congress trade barbs in Madhya Pradesh as they try to claim Dalit icons legacy

Dr BR Ambedkar. IBNLive

"These (Congress) people have launched 'Save the Constitution' campaign. They had trampled the Constitution by imposing Emergency in 1975," Chouhan said at a function organised to mark Ambedkar's 127th birth anniversary. "The Constitution is not in danger under the current President (Ram Nath Kovind) and Prime Minister (Narendra Modi). It is completely safe," Chouhan said at the function attended by Kovind.

The chief minister alleged that Jawaharlal Nehru had tried hard to ensure Ambedkar did not become a member of Parliament. "They disrespected the architect of the Constitution when he was alive, and after his death, they want to save the Constitution. They are offering flowers at the statue of Ambedkar," he said.

Kicking off the campaign, state Congress president Arun Yadav said his party had always endeavored to promote the views of India's first law minister. "We have always tried to promote Ambedkar's views, his principle of social harmony. The BJP's ideology is about dividing society," he said. "The BJP is talking about changing the Constitution. Under its rule, the reservation system is facing tough challenges," Yadav alleged.

Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said the BJP government built a grand Ambedkar memorial here in 2008, but the Congress failed to do so despite being in power in Madhya Pradesh for long. The Narendra Modi government is turning the places linked with Ambedkar into memorials, the Dalit leader said. "The Constitution faced challenges on many counts and the possibility of a threat to the interest of the reserved categories did emerge. "But our governments have always worked to set such situations right," Gehlot said.

Leader of Opposition in the MP Assembly Ajay Singh said, "We have held Babasaheb in high esteem in the last 60 years. Under the BJP rule, even his statues are not safe."

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Updated Date: Apr 15, 2018 12:15:28 IST