World Knows Martin Luther King, Not Ambedkar: PM Modi Ahead of Bihar Polls

modi-in-mumbai_650x400_81444572718MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invoked Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan and BR Ambedkar at a rally in Mumbai. He also laid the foundation stone for the grand Ambedkar Memorial — a long-standing demand of the Dalits — and said November 26 will henceforth be marked a “Constitution Day”.
“Babasaheb Ambedkar is an inspiration not just for one community, but the entire world,” PM Modi said. But the father of the Indian Constitution was not even honoured with a Bharat Ratna. “They (the Congress) couldn’t accept the son of a Dalit.”
Dr Ambedkar was given a Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1990 by VP Singh’s National Front government, to which the BJP had provided outside support.
The Congress immediately accused the PM of politicising national icons — Jayaprakash Narayan is an icon for two parties of Bihar’s anti-BJP coalition and BR Ambedkar is seen as an icon of the Dalits — who form a chunk of Bihar’s electorate. The first phase of assembly elections in Bihar begins tomorrow.
Claiming that the “states with maximum Dalit, adivasi and backward classes have voted for the BJP,” the Prime Minister had said every time election comes around, people start spreading “lies”.

“Every time a BJP government is in power, a group of liars spreads the malicious propaganda that we are out to scrap reservations. It happened during the Atal Bihari Vajapayee government’s time as well,” he said.
The Prime Minister had started his speech invoking Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan – whose 113th birth anniversary he had marked at a function in Delhi this morning.
“The biggest message that came out of the anti-Emergency struggle was the inspiration to fight repression,” the PM had said, adding that it was also a time which gave birth to an entire generation of political leaders.
Two leaders of the anti-BJP alliance in Bihar – Janata Dal United leader Nitish Kuma and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad – had gained prominence as part of the JP movement. Mr Prasad, who had been in jail during the birth of his eldest daughter under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act, had even named her Misa.

But both leaders have joined hands with the Congress, against whom the post-emergency JP movement had stood.This morning, PM Modi named several other leaders as JP movement products — BJP veteran LK Advani, and ally Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal, whom he hailed as “Nelson Mandela”.

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