Thane: India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, was conferred on Dr BR Ambedkar out of compulsion and not by heart, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said on Monday.
Speaking at a rally of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi Sunday in Kalyan in the district, he said, “Tell me out of the total Bharat Ratna awards given how many were Dalit, Adivasi, Muslim, poor, upper caste and Brahmin? Babasaheb (Ambedkar) was given Bharat Ratna, but out of compulsion and not by heart.”
He asked Dalits, Muslims and Adivasis to come together and reject national parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and said it was time for the "deprived" to hit back rather than continue "suffering" as was the case in the past 70 years.
The Vanchit Bhaujan Aghadi is an outfit floated by the AIMIM and the Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM).
He said Babasaheb Ambedkar had laid down equal rights for all citizens of the country. He took a dig at the Congress and the ruling BJP and claimed the two parties had got elected on the votes of the "deprived" classes but had only meted out injustice to them.
The AIMIM president said the country needed a "pehredar" (guard) rather than a "chowkidar" (watchman), a term Prime Minister Narendra Modi often uses to describe himself and his role.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also came in for criticism from Owaisi who called him a "janeudhari" (wearer of the sacred thread).
The Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP said only parties like the one led by Prakash Ambedkar could do justice to the poor and downtrodden and not the Congress or leaders like PM Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
A few days after President Ram Nath Kovind announced Bharat Ratna to former President Pranab Mukherjee, RSS leader and social activist late Nanaji Deshmukh and late music maestro Bhupen Hazarika. The AIMIM chief claimed the country's highest civilian honour had only been bestowed on people from the "upper caste".
With PTI inputs