Days after it joined hands with arch foe BSP to snatch the Lok Sabha seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur from the BJP, the SP has decided to celebrate the 127th birth anniversary of Dalit icon Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar on a grand scale in districts across UP this April 14.
In the Lok Sabha bypolls, the BSP ensured that its Dalit votes were transferred to SP candidates. Moving to strengthen this bond with the BSP in the run-up to 2019, the SP will screen documentary films and play songs highlighting the life of Ambedkar, his beliefs, ideology and contribution to society.
All SP district and city presidents are being instructed to hold programmes either at their party offices or at public venues. Party leaders will address workers on Ambedkar’s achievements, his role in drafting the Constitution. Floral tributes too will be offered.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav will address party workers at their headquarters in Lucknow after offering floral tributes at the Ambedkar statue in the Hazratganj area. SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav too is being invited to the programme.
Naresh Uttam, president of the SP’s Uttar Pradesh unit, said, “The birth anniversary of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar will be celebrated by more than 90 district and city units in the state. There will be discussions on the life and works of Ambedkar. District units and all frontal organisations will organise the event, with gatherings at the party office or at any other public place.”
“This is being done not because of the new alliance with BSP. The SP always had high regard for Ambedkar. A village development scheme named after Ambedkar was launched by the government of Mulayam Singh Yadav. The SP respect all great personalities like Ambedkar, Ram Manohar Lohia, Jaya Prakash Narayan and others. Various organisations, and even the BJP, also celebrate Ambedkar’s birth anniversary,” Uttam said.
The SP’s SC/ST UP cell head Sarvesh Ambedkar said: “Babasaheb’s birth anniversary has been celebrated in the past as well. But this time, it will be organised on a grand scale at the state headquarters and every district office. The following of Bhimrao Ambedkar is increasing every day. Ambedkar worked not only for Dalits but backwards and other castes too.”