NEW DELHI: BJP will now invoke B R Ambedkar's views on nationalism in support of its campaign on the issue and has chalked out big plans to observe the Dalit icon's birth anniversary on April 14 for three days in panchayats across the country.
In a series of programmes starting April 14, it will also focus on the Modi government's atempts to promote his legacy and has asked all its MPs and MLAs besides office-bearers to be in attendance.
The move will be part of the saffron party's vigrous efforts to woo Dalits, who would be key to its electoral fortunes in assembly polls in states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab due next year.
"We will highlight Ambedkar's nationalist views on the country's unity and integrity. Our rivals have selectively used him. He held strong nationalist views and they will be highlighted," a party office-bearer said while giving details of the programmes.
April 14 will be observed as 'samrasta diwas' (harmony day) and party leaders will garland the Dalit icon's statues and take a pledge to end discrimination, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to addeess an event on the day at Ambedkar's birth place Mhow in Madhya Pradesh.
Though the central government has announced observing 'Gram Uday se Bharat Uday' programme between April 14 and 24 in coordination with state governments, the party will be joining the government efforts and hold events in panchayats.
The Centre's efforts to develop five places associated with Ambedkar will also be a key aspect of the party's campaign.