Venkaiah Naidu attacks Congress for "delayed" Bharat Ratna for Ambedkar

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Hyderabad, Apr 14: In a veiled attack on Congress, BJP leader and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday resented the delay in giving due recognition to national icons like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, B R Ambedkar, and Sardar Patel.

Patel, as the first Home Minister of independent India, united the princely states and Ambedkar strengthened unity by providing Constitutional safeguards to the poor and downtrodden of the society, Naidu said, addressing a function at the BJP state headquarters here on the occasion of Ambedkar's birth anniversary.

File photo

"But, what did our society do? Those in power in this country did not give adequate recognition and place to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Sardar Patel. They will be angry if we say this. But, we need not fear that," he said, alluding to the Congress leaders.

"When was Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar given Bharat Ratna? How many years did it take? He was architect of the Constitution. Secondly, how many years did it take to have his portrait unveiled in Parliament," he said.

He recalled that the Osmania University in Hyderabad honoured Ambedkar with a doctorate as back as 1953. Ambedkar, who gave up his cabinet post without hankering after power, was also defeated in the elections, he said, adding, "who made him lose elections, everybody knows."

Referring to criticism in some quarters over his statement seeking facts on alleged snooping on Netaji's family members coming out in the open, Naidu wondered what is the problem if facts come out.

Hailing the principles preached by Ambedkar, he said the NDA government's programmes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra Bank, 'Swachh Bharat' campaign, housing for all and emphasis on skill development would benefit the poorer sections of the society.


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