The Union government will make no changes to the reservation policy for Dalits and tribals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday while delivering the Ambedkar Memorial Lecture in New Delhi. He also condemned his opponents of "spreading lies" about the reservation policy.
"Lies" and "misinformation" were spread every time the BJP was in power; even when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister, Modi said at the foundation laying ceremony of Ambedkar National Memorial.
"No changes will be made to the Union government's reservation policy, so as to deprive the weaker sections of society, of their existing entitlements," a Prime Minister's Office's release quoted Modi as saying.
"Nothing has ever happened to reservation for Dalits and tribals when we are in power, but still lies are being spread to mislead people. When Vajpayeeji became PM, a campaign was run saying reservation will be abolished. He was the prime minister for two terms and nothing of that sort happened." Press Trust of India quoted Modi as saying.
"BJP has ruled in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Haryana for many years and the quota policy never suffered a scratch. Yet untruths are being spread. People, who are only interested in doing politics, fail to come out of it," he said.
The prime minister said reservation is the "right" of the Dalits and the underprivileged and no one can "snatch" it from them. "As I had said earlier also that even if Ambedkar appears today, he cannot snatch this very right of yours. What are we before Baba Saheb," he added.
He further compared Ambedkar to American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. and said, "Ambedkar was a Messiah for all labourers â€“ not just Dalit labourers."
"If Martin Luther King jr. is seen as an image of fight against injustice. B.R. Ambedkar should also not be seen as second to anyone," Indo-Asian New Service quoted Modi as saying.
The prime minister attributed the NDA government's programme to provide electricity to all unconnected villages Ambedkar, saying it was his vision. He further spoke about electricity and announced the launch of a technology to held agricultural sector of the nation.
"In order to realise one of his dreams, I will launch a technology on April 14 that will help enable farmers get updated information about market rates of agri products," IANS quoted Modi as saying.