Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday asserted that the basic structure of the Indian Constitution, laid down by Dr B R Ambedkar, could never be subjected to any alteration by any government as its real objective was to transform India into a socio-economic world power.
In a veiled attack on political rivals the Congress and the NCP, Fadnavis said, “Ambedkar had pointed out that even a good Constitution would become redundant if those at helm fail in its sincere enforcement. I must admit, for the last six decades, the Congress-NCP regime has failed to pursue Ambedkar’s vision in letter and spirit.”
“My government has taken a pledge to deliver justice to Ambedkar, whose immense socio-economic contribution remains under wraps. I would state with absolute certainty that reservation advocated by Ambedkar will continue till there is a discrimination or backwardness against even a single individual in this state,” he said.
Denying there was any hidden agenda of the BJP-led government to promote Ambedkar’s ideology, Fadnavis said, “I am anguished to see the political rivals dragging unparallel contribution of Ambedkar and Constitution into such narrow political prism.”
Reiterating that the Indian Constitution was the best in the world, he stressed on how it provided unity despite diversity and that was its strength. “There is adequate provisions for every social, economic and political problems which cannot be undermined or distorted,” he added.
Maharashtra Assembly Thursday held an intense debate on the “Samvidhan Diwas” celebrations to commemorate the ongoing 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar. During the debate, the Congress and the NCP accused the BJP government of pursuing the hidden RSS agenda.
Earlier, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan alleged the BJP’s decision to declare November 26 as “Samvidhan Diwas” to mark “bandhutva” and “samrasta” reeked of the RSS ideology. Chavan said, “The use of the term samrasta was to make people completely surrender, which is the very foundation of right wing RSS.”
In a sharp retort, Fadnavis said, “Former RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras had very clearly defined the meaning of ‘samrasta’ as evolution of society for a national cause where discrimination based on caste and class was non-existing.”
He explained, “The concepts of brotherhood and unity are in the context of service to the country. It has never advocated surrender to anyone.”
In his 40-minute speech, Fadnavis said, “It is a coincidence that December 17, 1946, saw Ambedkar delivering his first speech to constituent assembly giving glimpses of his vision.”
Recalling his recent visit to inaugurate the London House of Ambedkar, Fadnavis said, “I had the opportunity to visit the London School of Economics. I was told how Ambedkar’s works are still referred to in the LSE. And he still remains amongst the most meritorious students.”
Replying to the Congress and the NCP’s fears of tampering with the Constitution, Fadnavis said, “During Emergency, when attempts were made to tamper with the Constitution by keeping appointments of President and the Prime Minister, the Supreme Court had struck it down.” The Supreme Court has in past categorically said, “The basic structure of the Constitution cannot be tampered by any government or even Parliament.”
NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal had said, “The incidents of atrocities against dalits create uncertainty. It makes us wonder if government is trying to bring to the fore the hidden agenda of RSS.”
MIM MLA Imtiaz Jaleel said, “Ambedkar’s contribution has given us our rights and dignity. But unfortunately political parties have failed the dalits and Muslims. Today, we worship Mahatma Gandhi. But I would like to say Ambedkar was greatest of all leaders.”