Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti LIVE updates: From Narendra Modi to Rahul Gandhi, leaders across party lines paid homage to Dalit icon BR Ambedkar on his 127th birth anniversary.
The prime minister praised Babasaheb Ambedkar's contributions at the launch of the first wellness centre under 'Ayushman Bharat' in Bastar. He said he has come Bijapur to remove the backward tag attached to the district.
President Ram Nath Kovind said that the the Dalit icon was a multifaceted personality who waged a life-long struggle for a modern India free of caste and other prejudices, ensuring equal rights to women and for the disadvantaged.”
Meanwhile, clashes was reported in several places particularly from Punjab where clashes between two groups in Phagwara left four injured. The incident took place when members of a group allegedly installed a board carrying a picture of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar and tried to rename a city square as Savidhan Chowk.
However, members of another group objected to it and that led to a clash between both the groups, police said. Several vehicles were damaged during the clashes as members of both the groups pelted stones at each other.
In Vadodara, members of Dalit community "cleansed" BR Ambedkar's statue soon after Union minister Maneka Gandhi and some BJP leaders paid floral tributes on his 127th birth anniversary, a Dalit leader said, claiming that their presence had "polluted" the atmosphere.
At an event in Gujarat's Ahmedabad, MLA Jignesh Mevani's supporters tried to obstruct BJP MPs and members from garlanding BR Ambedkar's statue. The supporters were reportedly detained by the police.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu paid tribute to BR Ambedkar in New Delhi on Saturday morning.
Amid attacks from the Opposition, Narendra Modi reached out to Dalits and tribals by unveiling several pro-poor schemes in this Maoist-affected, low-literacy district in Chhattisgarh's Bastar on Dalit icon BR Ambedkar's 127th birth anniversary on Saturday.
Modi visited the Jangala Development Hub in Bijapur and will dedicate to the nation the Bhanupratappur-Gudum railway line via video conference and will also flag off a train between Dalli Rajhara and Bhanupratappur.
Jangala village is located in Bhairamgarh tehsil of Bijapur. This model village is situated 17 km away from sub-district headquarter Bhairamgarh and 33 kilometre away from district headquarter Bijapur.
During his over three-hour stay, Modi inaugurated a dialysis centre at the Bijapur Hospital and a Health and Wellness Centre, marking the launch of the Union government's ambitious health insurance programme Ayushman Bharat.
"The prime minister's choice to launch his most ambitious programme of Ayushman Bharat from the tribal district that is counted among the most backward districts of the country and that too on the birth anniversary of Ambedkarji is very significant," Dinesh Kashyap, BJP MP from Bastar said.
He said this would send a clear message that the prime minister does not discriminate and his focus on "sabka saath, sabka vikas" is not a mere slogan.
"The prime minister's initiative will give wings to the aspirations of every tribal and Dalit youth," he said.
Modi will also launch the Van Dhan Yojana which aims at empowering tribal communities.
Besides these, he will lay the foundation stone for the construction of 1,988 km of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana roads and other road connectivity projects in Left Wing Extremism areas, water supply scheme of Bijapur and two bridges.
Modi will also interact with people, including emerging sports persons and officials of the district administration, who despite all odds are trying to bring the district on top of the map of most emerging backward districts of the country.
The visit comes days after two security personnel were killed and five injured when an improvised explosive device ripped through a bus in which they were travelling to Jangla area.
After the attack and amid calls by Maoists to boycott the prime minister's programme, the district is on high alert and heavy security arrangements are in place, with 7,000 police personnel deployed in the area.
With the Saturday visit, Modi will become the first Prime Minister to visit Bijapur while this will be his fourth visit to the state since he took office in 2014.
Updated Date: Apr 14, 2018 20:14 PM