Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ch. Anil Kumar, along with hundreds of Congress workers and leaders, paid floral tribute at the portrait of Bharat Ratna Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, on his 131st birth anniversary, at the DPCC office, Rajiv Bhawan, here today.
Addressing a press conference later, Ch. Anil Kumar said that the Modi Government at the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party Government in Delhi were only giving lip service to the thoughts, ideals and principles of Dr Ambedkar, as they were only using his name for making political gains, without actualizing whatever Dr Ambedkar had stood for. Others present at the press conference were former Union Minister Smt. Krishna Tirath, ex-MP Dr Udit Raj, Chairman of the Communications Department and ex-MLA Shri Anil Bhardwaj, ex-MLA Veer Singh Dhingan, S.P Singh and former chairman of DPCC SC Department Shivram Singh. Others who paid floral tribute to Dr. Ambedkar were Ex MP Jagdish Tytler, Ramesh Kumar, Dr. Naressh Kumar, DPMC president Amrita Dhawan, Municipal Councillor Sushila Khorwal, Parvez Alam, DCC presidents Madan Khorwal, Dinesh Kumar Advocate, Rajesh Chauhan, Dharmpal Chandela, Satbir Sharma, Ex MC Ishwar Bagri.
Ch. Anil Kumar said that Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar had advocated the youth, particularly youth from the Dalit community and the downtrodden section of society, to educate themselves, create a strong bond to attain power and progress, as without education they will be left behind in the journey of life. He said that ever since the BJP came to power at the Centre, Dalits have been subjected to harassment, to keep them in subjugation, in violation of all Constitutional and democratic principles. He said that the Arvind Government, which came to power by championing the cause of the Dalits and the downtrodden, and contesting the Assembly elections on the election symbol of broom, betrayed the Dalits after coming to power, as he refused to release the salary of the sanitation workers of the Municipal Corporations of Delhi, to harass them, and drive them to poverty.
Ch. Anil Kumar said that the Modi and Arvind Governments’ anti-Dalit faces were unmasked when they conspired to demolish the Guru Ravi Das temple at the Tughklabad area, which caused deep hurt to the religious sentiments of the Dalits. He said that the temple was reconstructed after a Supreme Court order two and half years later, as till then neither the Modi Government nor the Arvind Government took any interest in restoring the Guru Ravi Das temple at the same site, though both of them used to make many hollow promises to the Dalits during election time. He said that Arvind even lied to the people of Punjab that he constructed the Guru Ravi Das temple in Delhi.
Ch. Anil Kumar said that Chief Minister Arvind named a school after Dr Ambedkar as a showoff to mislead the people as his intention was only to make political mileage and not for the welfare of the Dalit community as his Government has always been anti-Dalit and anti-poor. He said that the Delhi Congress has been demanding that the Arvind Government setup a SC/ST Commission to tackle all the issues related to Dalits and redress their grievances, but nothing has been done even after being in power for eight years. He said that Delhi Congress was expecting that Arvind will make a big announcement on Dr Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, but he gave nothing to the Dalits.
Ch. Anil Kumar, while demanding that the Arvind Government end the contract employment system, said that the Congress Government had set up a Sanitation Workers’ Commission in 2006 to protect their interest. He said that despite his election promise that contract employees will be regularized, nearly 65,000 workers continue to work on contract basis.
Ex-MP Shri Udit Raj said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind, who makes hollow promises to the Dalit community, did not select even a single Dalit when he filled AAP’s eight MP slots in the Rajya Sabha from Delhi and Punjab. He said that Arvind’s anti-Dalit attitude was evident as early as in 2008 when he formed an organization against reservation, and when he entered politics in 2013 with a broom as his election symbol, Arvind misled the Dalits to get their votes, but did nothing for their welfare and uplift in the past eight years. He said that the previous Congress Government had done yeoman service for the welfare of Dalits and Adivasis, and had constituted a “Special Component Plan” by making provisions in the Budget for their uplift, which was disbanded by the Modi Government in 2015-16. He said that Dr Ambedkar had given special importance in the Constitution for this plan. He said that both the Modi and Arvind Governments were anti-reservation and anti-Dalits as they only make sweet promises though those promises eventually turn out bitter for the Dalits.
Former Union Minister Smt. Krishna Tirath said that Dr Ambedkar had worked hard for the education of the Dalits, but the Modi and Arvind Governments have undid what Dr Ambedkar had done for the uplift and education of the Dalits. She said that the Congress Government had made higher education of Dalits students free, and free education for all SC/ST students, but the Modi and Arvind Governments cancelled all such free schemes, though the Modi Government has been making big talks about “start-ups” and “excellence” with nothing visible for the naked eyes. She said that the Constitution has made provision for equal rights for women and for their advancement, but women’s rights were curtailed by both the Modi and Arvind Governments. She said that the Arvind Government removed over 5 lakh students from schools in the name of educational reforms which only ruined their future, as most of them were Dalits. She said that the Arvind Government has harassed the sanitation workers the maximum by withholding their wages, forcing them to go on protests many times.