Mhow: Amid hectic campaigning Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath paid a visit to Bhimrao Ambedkar’s birthplace in Mhow and chanted ‘Jai Bhim’ slogans.
The BJP also observed Ambedkar’s birth anniversary at all district headquarters.
In Mhow, a cantonment town close to about 25km from Indore, Ambedkar Jayanti was celebrated in a grand style.
Nath reached here with five of his cabinet ministers — Jitu Patwari, Tulsi Silawat, Bala Bachchan, Sachin Yadav and Sajjan Singh Verma — and paid tribute at the Ambedkar memorial.
Draped in a blue stole (the colour is symbolic of Dalit resistance) around his head, Nath said, “Ambedkar was a historical figure who offered a new direction to society.” Nath and his colleagues also sat for a ‘samrasta bhoj’ (harmony meal).
While Home Minister Bala Bachchan promised to safeguard the Constitution framed by Ambedkar, PWD Minister Sajjan Singh Verma said the memorial would soon be accorded national status.
Mhow MLA and BJP’s state vice-president Usha Thakur also paid tribute at the memorial. BJP’s SC (scheduled caste) cell head in the state Suraj Kairo who, too, paid tribute to Ambedkar in Mhow, claimed his was the only party that followed the social reformer’s principles.
Earlier in the day, Ambedkar’s grandson Yashwantrao Ambedkar said the Dalit icon’s views had a worldwide appeal and hence, propagated beyond national boundaries.
He said as Ambedkar was present in the hearts of crores of people, no political party could distance itself from his ideologies.
BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan paid his tribute at a party event organised in the MP Nagar area of Bhopal.
In Jabalpur, party’s state president Rakesh Singh accused the Congress of persistently trying to destroy the Constitution formulated by Ambedkar.
“He wanted Section 370 to be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir temporarily, but the Congress, in its manifesto, has announced that it would not scrap this section,” said Singh, adding the grand old party only wanted to do away with the sedition law.
Earlier in the day, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteers, accompanied by a musical band, commemorated the Dalit icon’s birth anniversary at his statue in MP Nagar.
“Babasaheb believed in Indian culture and was of the view that independence had no value without the sense of brotherhood and equality,” said RSS functionary Rajesh Sethi.