GANDHINAGAR: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is set to accept a giant national flag made by the Dalit community that was presented to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani but which officials reportedly refused to accept citing lack of space.
Gandhi will accept the flag, about 125 feet wide and 83.3 feet high, when he visits the Dalit Shakti Kendra near Sanand on Thursday. Gandhi will be on a two-day visit to poll-bound Gujarat.
"India's largest national flag was supposed to be handed over to Rupani, with a request that he take steps to end untouchability practices. But it was not accepted by officials of the Gandhinagar Collectorate on behalf of the Chief Minister saying 'We don't have enough space to keep the flag and shall inform once available'," said Dalit leader Martin Macwan.
"This is the insult of an Indian national flag prepared by Dalits from 10 states," said Macwan, who heads the Navsarjan Trust, which works for Scheduled Caste community in Gujarat.
"The flag is made out of khadi cloth and has been designed and coloured by 100 Dalit Shakti Kendra students and teachers who worked on it for 25 days... The 125 feet length of the flag signifies 125 years of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's birth anniversary this year," added Macwan.
"We approached the Chief Minister's office on August 3... The CMO did not respond... Thereafter we approached the Collector who refused citing lack of space," said Macwan.