08 JULY 2020 23:33 IST
Statewide protests will be launched, says Dalit leader
Former State SC/ST Commission Chairman Karem Shivaji on Wednesday lamented that former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had reneged on his promise of erecting a statue of B.R. Ambedkar on the banks of the Krishna at Amaravati.
While Mr. Naidu had allocated ₹100 crore for the proposed Ambedkar Smrithi Vanam, the project did not kick-start during his tenure.
Speaking at a press conference here, Mr. Shivaji said: “Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s initiative to erect the 125-feet Dr. Ambedkar statue at Swarajya Maidan in Vijayawada is laudable. The TDP will witness a backlash if any attempt is made to stop the ambitious initiative.”
“If the TDP decides to create any legal hurdles for the Ambedkar statue project, a Statewide protest will be launched jointly by the Dalit groups, tribals, and Backward Castes,” said Mr.Shivaji.
“I want to remind Mr. Naidu that I had personally brought soil from Nagpur for the ‘bhumi puja’ of the Ambedkar Smriti Vanam at Amaravati but the project was ignored by Mr. Naidu,” he said.
“The letter by former MP Vadde Sobhanadeeswara Rao against the Ambedkar statue initiative is a mindgame being played by the TDP to stall the project. The letter has been purportedly prepared by the TDP high command,” Mr. Shivaji alleged.