The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday asked state governments to take precautionary steps to prevent violence or incidents of vandalism ahead of the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar on April 14. He appreciated the five pillars of the Constitution - Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, and Democratic Republic and said that all were blessed to have them as citizens of India. "I came to know I am the first president to visit Ambedkars birthplace on the occasion of his birth anniversary".
Thakor Solanki, general secretary of SC/ST the Employees Union of Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, claimed that they had gathered at the venue to pay their tributes before the BJP leaders.
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Meanwhile in Phagwara (Punjab), members of two Hindu groups and a Dalit outfit clashed, injuring four persons, with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today appealing for peace and ordering suspension of mobile Internet and text services in four districts.
After Gandhi and other leaders garlanded the statue and left, the members of the community washed the statue with milk and water, saying the BJP leaders' presence had "polluted" the atmosphere. The district administration immediately got the damaged palm repaired.
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In the morning, Prime Minister Modi tweeted: "Pujya Babasaheb gave hope to lakhs of people belonging to the poorest and marginalised sections of society". Security has been beefed up across Uttar Pradesh. He said the country remains indebted to Babasaheb for his efforts towards the making of our Constitution.
Political leaders from different parties and people from different walks of life also paid floral tributes at the statue of Dr B R Ambedkar in the state capital and various places in Odisha.
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But amid an undercurrent of anger in the community and allegations that the government was sidelining Dalits, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said the BJP's overdrive to cultivate Dalits with the help of optics won't cut.