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Sameer Wankhede visits Chaityabhoomi, jeered by a section of Ambedkarites

An Ambedkarite was seen asking Wankhede, "Declare that you are a Bauddha (Buddhisht)," to which the officer replies, "I am Bauddha."

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: December 6, 2021 7:29:46 pm
NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede. (Express file photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

A section of Ambedkarities jeered at NCB Zonal director Sameer Wankhede when he visited the Chaityabhoomi on Monday to pay his respects to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. However, the Republican Party of India (RPI) termed it as an “unfortunate incident”. Wankhede is presently embroiled in a controversy over his caste with NCP leader and cabinet Minister Nawab Malik alleging that he is a Muslim who faked his caste of being a Dalit to get a central government job.

An Ambedkarite was seen asking Wankhede, “Declare that you are a Bauddha (Buddhisht),” to which the officer replies, “I am Bauddha.”

Death anniversary of B R Ambedkar being observed in Dadar.

Speaking to reporters, one of the Ambedkarites said, “Sameer Wankhede does not have the moral right to be here because every educated person should follow Babasaheb’s principles. Why did Wankhede felt the need of coming here only today? The Ambedkar movement is being carried on by people who are working at the grass root level. These people take advantage of the reservation policy introduced by Babasaheb but they never take his name or work for Babasaheb’s community like building a school or hospital.”

However, Avinash Mhatekar, spokesperson for RPI said, “I was there when the incident took place. Its unfortunate. Any person who feels connected to Babasaheb and wants to pay respect to him can come here. It does not matter what is his religion or caste.”

When contacted for a comment, Wankhede told The Indian Express, “I am spiritually connected to Gautam Buddha and Babasaheb. I idolise Babasaheb. This is not the first time i have come here. I have come to Chaityabhoomi many times with my friends and family to pay my respects. Even today thousands of people supported me.”

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