Updated: November 26, 2015 3:24:31 pm
Congress President Sonia Gandhi targetted the government on issue of intolerance on Thursday alleging that ideals and principles of the Constitution were under threat and being attacked deliberately.
“People who never had faith in the Constitution, nor had they participated in its drafting, are now swearing by it and are laying claim to it.”
“They are now having a discussion on commitment to it. There cannot be a bigger joke than this,” she said, utilising the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the commitment to the Constitution as part of 125th birth anniversary celebrations of B R Ambedkar to attack the BJP.
Insisting that whatever being witnessed over the past few months was “totally against the principles” of the Constitution, she recalled Ambedkar’s warning to hit out at the ruling dispensation, as she sought to highlight the contribution of the Congress in the drafting of the Constitution and in the freedom struggle.
She said Ambedkar had observed that howsoever good a Constitution may be, if those implementing it were bad people, then the utlimate effect would only be bad.
At a time when BJP is seeking to appropriate the legacy of Ambedkar, Gandhi also utilised Ambedkar’s praise of the Congress for its contribution in the drafting of the Constitution, indicating that the Congress could lay the rightful claim on the document.
The Home Minister said the issue of reservation has been politicised and made it clear that quota was a constitutional provision and there was “no scope” for any further debate on the issue.
“Reservation is a socio-political necessity. Hence, there is a constitutional provision for it,” he said.
The remarks came weeks after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat supported a review of the reservation system in the country. Top BJP leaders, during Bihar Assembly polls, repeatedly assured that the government would not do away with the present quota system.
Asserting Modi government’s commitment for safety and security of every Indian, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, Singh said everyone born in India is Indian and all are brothers.
He said India was the only country where all 72 sects of Muslims lived and communities like Zoroastrian and Jews felt safe while facing persecution elsewhere.
Besides paying glowing tributes to Ambedkar, the Home Minister remembered the contribution of late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and late Home Minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel in nation building.
Singh termed Lord Ram as the greatest democrat saying he ordered his wife Sita to go ‘Agni Pariksha’ after someone raised the issue.
The Home Minister said the Prime Minister was inspired by the philosophy of Ambedkar and Constitution and launched schemes like ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, ‘Beti Badhao, Beti Padho’.
His remarks linking the projects with Ambedkar’s vision invited strong reactions and jibes from opposition benches.
When Singh said the government is working for reservation of 33 per cent jobs for women in paramilitary and state police forces, a member from the Congress asked why the Modi government was delaying the Constitution amendment bill to provide for one third reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
In his tributes to Ambedkar, the Home Minister said he was also the brain behind the establishment of the Reserve Bank of India, Finance Commission and several waterways projects across the country.
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