DHAR: Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot today said that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had "no moral right" to visit the birthplace of Dr B R Ambedkar at Mhow, because Congress never respected the Dalit icon in his lifetime.
"Rahul has no moral right to visit Ambedkar's birthplace because it was the Congress which hadn't allowed Ambedkar to go to the Parliament. Now, by suddenly remembering him, Congress is trying to lure Dalits, while it is a fact that it never respected him when it was in power," Gehlot said, speaking to reporters here.
Rahul Gandhi recently visited Mhow to launch Congress's celebration of Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary.
Gehlot said Rahul's gesture could be summed up by the Hindi sayings "Der aye durust aye" and "Ab pachtaye hot kya jab chidiya chug gayi khet" ('better late than never' and 'closing the stable door after the horse has bolted').
Gehlot today visited Mohankheda near here to take part inthe birthday celebration of Jain saint Rishabhchand Vijayji.
Dalits had realized that Congress did not care for their welfare or their feelings, he said, claiming that BJP at present had the maximum number of Dalit MPs and MLAs.
He pointed out that it was under the BJP rule that Ambedkar's portrait was installed in the Central Hall of Parliament, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, and his memorial came up at Mhow.
The current BJP-led Central government had sanctioned Rs 100 crore for a grand memorial of Ambedkar's in Delhi, he added.
Gehlot also said that he supported the demand by BJP MP Vinay Katiyar that the Ram temple be constructed in Ayodhya by enacting a law on the lines of Land Acquisition Ordinance.
BJP had not given up the issue, he said.