No govt has given Ambedkar respect like we did: Modi

No govt has given Ambedkar respect like we did: Modi

No govt has given Ambedkar respect like we did, says Modi

In his first remark since Dalit protests across the country against the "dilution" of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that implementing DR B R Ambedkar's ideals is the best way to serve his memory and "not doing politics in his name."

Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of the Western Court annexe meant to provide accommodation to MPs, Modi lamented that everyone had dragged Dr Ambedkar's name for political gains.

"We are walking on the path shown by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. At the core of Dr Ambedkar's ideals are harmony and togetherness. Working for the poorest of the poor is our mission," he said. "No regime has honoured the Dalit icon like our government has done."

Modi said it was the Vajpayee-led NDA government that had started identifying places of significance related to Ambedkar's life and his government was proud to pay tributes to the chairman of the Drafting Committee of India's Constitution. Without naming previous governments under the Congress or supported by it, the PM said the governments that followed Vajpayee showed little interest and ignored Dr Ambedkar and his contributions.

"After that, the governments ran like that... Everybody is always ready to do politics in the name of Babasaheb. But nobody gave him the kind of respect and paid tributes to him as much as this government has done," the PM said.

He, however, did not make any direct reference to the Bharat Bandh protests that saw violence in north India on Monday. Modi's comments were, however, seen as politically significant.

Asserting that his government has done more than previous governments on the path shown by Dr Ambedkar. Modi said it was always working for the 'poorest of the poor.' Modi said it was his government that completed Rs 200 crore Ambedkar International Centre in the heart of the capital at Janpath though the idea was conceived when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister.

The 26, Alipur Roadhouse in Delhi where Ambedkar breathed his last would be dedicated to the nation on April 13 on the eve of his birth anniversary.

The Ambedkar Memorial, as it will be called will have a themed garden, entrance plaza, meditation hall and pavilion. It houses relics of Ambedkar, a photo gallery covering all important aspects of his life and work and will also comprise a meditation hall, audio-visual wing and information centre.