Dalits, next year polls ‘in mind’, PM stops at Ambedkar Mahasabha

Commenting on the visit, being interpreted as a move to reach out to the Dalits before the assembly elections next year, Nirmal said Modi has shown he has interest in Dalits’ issues.

Written by RAMENDRA SINGH | Lucknow | Published: January 23, 2016 3:40 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a 10-minute long visit to the Babasaheb Ambedkar Mahasabha in Lucknow’s Hazratganj Friday evening, a visit being seen as a political gesture to reach out to the Dalits.

Modi paid floral tribute to Ambedkar’s funerary urn kept at the premises. Modi was at the Mahasabha for 10 minutes, from 5.37 pm to 5.47 pm, for which traffic was halted for nearly half an hour. “He saw one of the original copies of Indian Constitution kept here,” said Lalji Prasad Nirmal, president of Ambedkar Mahasabha. He said Modi was gifted a 3-foot long statue of Ambedkar by the Mahasabha.

Commenting on the visit, being interpreted as a move to reach out to the Dalits before the assembly elections next year, Nirmal said Modi has shown he has interest in Dalits’ issues.

He, however, remarked that there was nothing political about the visit.

Nirmal said the PM was urged to look into the issues affecting Dalits and given a memorandum. He informed that Union Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to come to attend the next programme at the Mahasabha on April 14.

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