Congress leader’s remarks on Ambedkar spark protests

February 24th, 2008 - 11:24 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, Feb 24 (IANS) Certain remarks of a Congress parliamentarian about architect of India’s constitution B.R. Ambedkar sparked state-wide protests in Andhra Pradesh Sunday. Rajahmundry MP U. Arun Kumar allegedly made certain comments about Ambedkar during a meeting of the Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation. The corporation members raised strong objections to this and soon the protest spread to several areas in the state.

Arun Kumar reportedly said unfortunately Ambedkar wrote the constitution of India. He, however, denied making any such remark and accused the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) of politicising the issue.

Some leaders of his own party demanded the Congress leadership suspend him from Congress Working Committee for his remarks.

Activists of Dalit organisations took to streets across the state, holding mock funerals, burning his effigies and washing Ambedkar’s statues with milk.

Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS) has warned it would not allow Arun Kumar to step on the street if he failed to apologise. MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga asked the Congress party to take action against the MP.

D. Sambaiah, Congress member of the state assembly, urged the party’s central leadership to suspend Arun Kumar from the CWC.

Minister for Tribal Welfare Redya Naik said nobody would be allowed to insult Ambedkar, and J. Geeta Reddy, minister for major industries, hoped that Arun Kumar would withdraw his remarks, if he has made them unintentionally.

Various organisations representing the Scheduled Castes also demanded that the MP be booked under the Scheduled Castes Atrocities (Prevention) Act. “He has no right to continue as legislator,” said K. Shivaji, leader of Mala Mahanadu.

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