Senior Congres leader and party nominee from Nagpur North constituency Nitin Raut has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of insulting Babasaheb Ambedkar by selling Ambedkar pictures, images and statues received, as gifts in e-auction. Raut, who is the head of All India Congress Committee Scheduled Caste department, made the allegation at a press conference here on Thursday.
“This (auction) shows that Modi has no place in his home or heart and has utter disregard for Ambedkar. Many renowned universities across the globe have installed Ambedkar statues and have held him in high esteem for his scholarship,” said Raut, adding that those who gifted these items to Modi would be pained by the public sale of something they revered.
Raut and his followers were hurt by the fact that while Ambedkar memorabilia were sold for as low as between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 per piece, a picture of Modi with his mother fetched over Rs 20 lakh in the auction. “Who gave them the right to fix the prices of national icons?” Raut asked. “Such insult of Ambedkar has origins in Modi’s RSS upbringing,” he added.
“All past PMs have put up such collection of gifts in museums. But apparently Modi has no regard for them and put them for sale in the name of fund-raising for a social cause,” Raut added.
A Mumbai-based political strategist, Rajesh Rathod, was also present at the press conference.