Updated: October 12, 2015 2:51:16 am
The state government has decided to withdraw all criminal cases registered against Dalits who had agitated for building the Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills compound over the last 15 years, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Sunday.
“All those who took to the streets to see the grand memorial of Ambedkar should be thanked for their contribution, But the earlier government tried to silence their voices by slapping criminal cases against them and holding them in prisons,” Fadnavis said.
The chief minister said that his government has set aside a budget for social justice and skill development to pursue Ambedkar’s path. While thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for helping to facilitate the transfer of land at Indu Mills to the state government for the memorial, Fadnavis said that the previous Congress-NCP government had been
“They cited how land for the Ambedkar memorial would require an amendment in the Act which had to be passed in Parliament. They cited environmental hurdles. But the BJP-led government raised the issue with the
Prime Minister who called Union textiles minister Santosh Gangwar and other officials and got it sanctioned. In
three days, I was called to Delhi and an MoU was signed. Today, all environmental clearances have been given.” Fadnavis added.
The chief minister attacked the Congress and the NCP saying, “They could never treat Dalits beyond vote bank politics. They failed to allocate even 1.25 inch of land for the Ambedkar memorial.”
On the eve of the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar, the state government has set aside Rs 125 crore for the development of socially oppressed and suppressed sections of society. The memorial will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 475 crore.
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