Maharashtra-Haryana Assembly Elections

Rahul Gandhi compares Rohith Vemula to BR Ambedkar

Nagpur, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 11 April 2016, 10:38 PM

Congress Vice President today compared Hyderabad University Student Rohith Vemula who committed suicide this year to the architect of India’s constitution BR Ambedkar.

Speaking at a rally, Rahul said, “BR Ambedkar had raises his voice when he wasked to sit in the corner away from other children. Rohith Vemula raised same issue, but what did the central government do. Narendra Modi, his ministers and the RSS did everything possible to run over that aspiration.”

Rohith had committed suicide in January this year allegedly after being expelled at the behest of the Union HRD Ministry.

Addressing a rally to mark culmination of the year-long celebrations of the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar at Kasturchand Park here, Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi asserted the legacy of the dalit icon for Congress and tore into RSS over reservation.

“The right-wing outfit is bent upon to destroy the democratic values, disturb secular fabric and alter Indian Constitution authored by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

“RSS wants to crush reservation for the scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, OBCs and minorities which is guaranteed to them by Constitution,” she said.

In an apparent reference to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Sonia said Sangh is posing a “great threat’ to the reservation system when it talks against it.

Seeking to blunt BJP’s efforts to ‘appropriate’ legacy of Ambedkar, Sonia said, “Congress had given Dr Ambedkar his dues by appointing him as chairman of the Draft Committee of Constitution.

“Congress will leave no stone unturned to save the democratic values and secular fabric being destroyed by some forces. It is the constitutional duty of Congress to give protection to these factors”.

Focusing her speech mainly on issue of reservation, the combative Congress chief said the Narendra Modi government is set to discriminate against women at Panchayati level by depriving them from enjoying power in their villages.

“In Haryana and Rajasthan, the BJP-ruled governments are contemplating to bring legislation asking for certain education level for contestants,” she said.

Sonia said this will deprive about 80 per cent of dalit women from contesting Panchayati elections.

“The Congress regime brought the mid-day meal scheme for the children, which was a social revolution as dreamt by Ambedkar. Ambedkar received good support from the then Congress stalwarts like Jawahralal Nehru and Sardar Valabhbhai Patel,” she said.

Targeting Modi, she said BJP government is “destabilising the democratically-elected Congress governments in Uttarkhand and Arunchal Pradesh”.

“The students’ unrest has grown manifold under the current Modi government in the country. Congress has a moral responsibility and constitutional duty to protect the backward community, dalits, minorities and the under-privileged ones and party will not fail in it..Congress has been doing this for more than 60 years,” she added.

Earlier in the day, Sonia and Rahul visited memorial of Ambedkar at Deekshabhoomi here where the dalit icon had embraced Buddhism on October 14, 1956.

With PTI Inputs.

First Published: Monday, April 11, 2016 10:36 PM

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