New Delhi, Apr 14 (UNI) A grateful nation paid rich tributes to the Father of the Constitution Bhim Rao Ambedkar on his 117th birth anniversary today.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi led the nation in paying tribute to the chief architect of the Indian Constitution B R Ambedkar. They garlanded the portrait of Dr Ambedkar at a function held in the Central Hall of Parliament House here.
Among other dignitaries who paid floral tributes to Ambedkar were Union Ministers, Members of Parliament and senior Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha officials.
A booklet containing the profile of Ambedkar brought out by Lok Sabha Secretariat, both in Hindi and English, was also presented to those who attended the function.
In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati described Ambedkar as the champion of the rights of Dalits and made a scathing attack on Congress saying it had always conspired against Ambedkar and his relentless efforts towards Dalit welfare.
Choosing the occasion to dedicate newly constructed and renovated Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Prateek Sthal to the people of the state, Ms Mayawati unveiled the statues of Ambedkar, Ramabai, Kanshiram and herself at the venue.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda while speaking at a function organised by Bharat Ratna Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Mahasabha said government has identified land in 5,000 villages to allot plots of 100 sq yards free of cost to members belonging to Scheduled Castes and those living below the poverty line.
In Mumbai, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray and his family members pledged to donate their eyes on the occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar's birth anniversary and filled up forms at their Shivaji Park residence.
While addressing a public meeting on Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar's philosophy, at Ambedkar's birthplace MHOW (Military Headquarters of War), on the occasion of his birthday, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and former deputy premier L K Advani said development alone was not sufficient and honest governance was also required.
In Aurangabad, thousands of people participated in the procession taken out in the city to mark the day. The procession began after paying floral tributes to the statue of Ambedkar at Bhadkal gate.
In Hyderabad, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy along with a host of Congress leaders paid floral tributes to the statute of the noted scholar and Bahujan leader, at the busy tank bund area.
Later, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, accompanied by TDP Parliamentary Party leader K Yerran Naidu and TDP Scheduled Castes-wing State President V Ramaiah, garlanded the statue of Ambedkar.
Former Telangana Rashtra Samiti Legislature Party leader G Vijayarama Rao, former minister N Narasimha Reddy, party spokesman Prakash, were among those TRS leaders, who paid floral tributes to the late leader, who fought for political and social rights for Dalits.
In Chennai, on behalf of the state government, local Administration Minister M K Stalin, accompanied by his colleagues Parithi Ilamvazhuthi and U Mathivanan and Deputy Speaker V P Duraisamy, garlanded the statue of Ambedkar near the Chennai Port Trust.
On behalf of the ruling DMK, Ministers Ilamvazhuthi and K P P Samy garlanded the Ambedkar statue near Koyambedu bus terminus.
AIADMK Presidium Chairman E Madhusoodanan, accompanied by party senior leaders and office bearers, paid floral tributes to the leader's statue near Arcot Road.
Communist Party of India (CPI) Secretary D Raja, TNCC President K Krishnasamy, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder leader S Ramadoss, Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK) Treasurer M Kannappan, CPI(M) State Secretary N Varadarajan, BJP Leader Su Thirunavukkarasar, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi President Thol Thirumavalavan and Dravidar Kazhagam President K Veeramani were among those who paid floral tributes.
In Puduchery, Chief Minister N Rangasamy, his Cabinet colleagues, Speaker R Radhakrishnan, legislators and senior officials of the territorial administration, were among others, who garlanded Ambedkar's statue at Bharathi Park in front of the assembly premises.
UNI Team BDP BD1835