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Govt committed to upliftment of downtrodden, says Modi

PM pooh-poohs misinformation campaign against the BJP-led govt that it is planning to withdraw reservations

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with C Vidyasagar Rao, Nitin Gadkari, and Devendra Fadnavis
(From L) Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Nitin Gadkari, PM Narendra Modi and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis at a function to lay the foundation stone for the New Metro Coridors of Mumbai, in Mumbai on Oct 11, 2015. Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the eve of the first round of polling for the 243-seat Bihar assembly, today hit out at his critics and oppostion parties for running a misinformation campaign that the BJP-led government will withdraw rseservation to dalits and other downtrodden people. Modi said his government at the Centre and in various states were committed to the development of dalits.

Modi, who was in the city to lay the foundation stone for Dr BR Ambedkar's memorial at Dadar, said Babasaheb Ambedkar is an inspiration not just for one community but also for the entire world. He declared that November 26 will be marked as the Constitution Day.

''People must know about our Constitution and how it was made,'' said the Prime Minister who also initiated the two new metro corridors in the city, which will cost about Rs 12,000 crore.

Without naming the Congress and the 10-year UPA rule, Modi alleged that there was reluctance to put up Ambedkar's painting in the parliament. However, it was ultimately done in 1990 during the non-Congress rule supported by BJP. ''We know who got the Bharat Ratna and when. But they did not give the Bharat Ratna to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar,'' he noted.

Modi said Ambedkar faced so many challenges but there was no bitterness in him. Calling Ambedkar a mahapurush, Modi said he is an inspiration not just for one community but for the entire world. He called upon the dalit community and Ambedkar's followers not to project him the leader of their community. ''World knows Martin Luther King, but not Ambedkar,'' he added.

Meanwhile, Modi said his government is focusing on the development of sea and space technology. He noted that a vibrant port sector is very important for a nation blessed with long coastlines.

''Now, just port development is not enough. That is why port-led development is the key. Ports must have great connectivity,'' Modi said, adding that the Centre is encouraging 'Sagar Mala project' to connect port services.

First Published: Sun, October 11 2015. 19:21 IST