No Change in Reservation Policy – Laying the foundation stone for a memorial for Ambedkar on Monday, Modi said Ambedkar wasn’t just a Dalit icon but a world statesman.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday there would be no change in the reservation policy for Dalits and accused his opponents of spreading “lies” on the issue.
Delivering the B R Ambedkar Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on Monday, Modi said, “Nothing has ever happened to the reservation for Dalits or tribals when we are in power, but still lies are being spread to mislead people.”
He said the opponents of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had spread misinformation about the party earlier as well when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power, but the Vajpayee government didn’t touch the reservation policy.
Terming himself a bhakta (devotee) of Ambedkar, the PM said the BJP had ruled in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Haryana and the quota policy never suffered. “Yet, untruths are being spread.”
The government as well as the BJP has been on the defensive on the issue of reservations ever since Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said prior to the Bihar Assembly elections that job quotas should be reviewed. The suicide of Hyderabad Central University student Rohith Vemula further dented the BJP’s image among the Dalits.
Laying the foundation stone for a memorial for Ambedkar on Monday, Modi said Ambedkar wasn’t just a Dalit icon but a world statesman. The PM compared Ambedkar’s contribution to that of US civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King.