Congress spokesman and Rajya Sabha MP Raj Babbar created an uproar on Wednesday evening, when he claimed that Dr BR Ambedkar’s claim to fame was largely due to Congress help.
Addressing a huge crowd of Dalits that had gathered at the Government Inter College Grounds in Agra to attend the grand inauguration of the 4-day Bhim Nagri festival celebrated from the next day of Dr Ambedkar’s Birth Anniversary, Babbar said that he had not arrived to replace the Bahujan Samaj Party’s influence in Agra (The Bhim Nagri festival is the brainchild of BSP Supremo Mayawati), but he wanted to make it clear how much the Congress respected and trusted Dr Ambedkar.
Babbar said Ambedkar became the law minister because the Congress government believed in him. “He was made the chairman of the constitution drafting committee by the Congress. The nationwide holiday on Dr Ambedkar’s birth anniversary was declared by the Congress. The Congress wanted to make Ambedkar a leader of the masses, but the unidirectional mindset of the Bahujan Samaj Party and its leadership limited him to the status of the leader of just one community,” Babbar said.
He said in times to come Ambedkar will be “ranked among the angels as his views largely resembled that of Mahatma Gandhi”. “They both spearheaded the development of India and the Congress respected and promoted Ambedkar’s ideas, which is still continuing,” the Congress spokesperson said.
Reacting angrily to Raj Babbar’s statement, Shivcharan Lal Manav, former district president of the Bahujan Samaj Party said the Congress MP was making deluded statements about the alleged “help” provided by the Congress to Baba Saheb, while in fact, Dr Ambedkar ascended to global fame on account of his superior intellect. “BSP leader late Kanshiram and party supremo Mayawati were the first to recognise the importance of promoting Dr Ambedkar’s vision for the upliftment of the Dalit community. The Congress always tried to suppress Baba Saheb’s vision by whatever means possible, but it was never successful in its attempts,” Manav said, adding that thousands of Dalits, who were seen cheering Babbar’s every statement, were merely enamoured by his Bollywood glamour and they did not understand the real meaning of what Babbar was saying.
“This is precisely the reason why the dalit masses need capable leaders like Mayawati who can think ahead and guide them on the right path,” he said.
However, Congress leader and Bhartiya Dalit Sevak Sangh president Rajkumar Nagrath claimed that Mayawati was afraid of Raj Babbar and his aura, which was the reason why she instructed all her MLAs from Agra to stay in Agra and attend the inauguration of the Bhim Nagri festival, despite a compulsory party meeting in Lucknow. “Nevertheless, BSP MLA Gutiyarilal Dubesh was not allowed to raise political issues during his inauguration speech, which indicates that the Dalits are not ready to allow the BSP to lay an exclusive claim on Baba Saheb, who belonged to entire India, not just the BSP supporters of Uttar Pradesh,” Nagrath said.