Union minister Ramdas Athawale today said the Narendra Modi government is not anti-Dalit and asserted that reservation for the oppressed community will remain intact. The minister of state for social justice and empowerment was addressing a function at the Deekshabhoomi where B R Ambedkar converted to Buddhism with thousands of followers on Ashok Vijaya Dashami in 1956. “Modi government is not anti-Dalit and reservation of the Dalits will be intact with no possibility of change in the Constitution. The prime minister, though a Hindu, is a follower of Gautam Buddha and Babasaheb Ambedkar,” the Republican Party of India leader said. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was present on the occasion, praised Ambedkar, saying the architect of the Constitution had contributed immensely to nation building.
“Ambedkar is our ‘Rashtra Nirmata’ (creator of the nation) and has contributed immensely in the nation building,” he said. “There is no possibility of changing the Constitution (on reservation),” added the chief minister. Echoing similar views, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said, “There is no question of changing the Constitution or removing reservations”. “We are determined to ensure social equality and welfare for the last person of the society,” said Gadkari, who handles the transport portfolio. Lakhs of devotees thronged to Deekshabhoomi to mark the 61st Dhammachakra Pravartan.