Ambedkar, Phule ‘omitted’ from Maharashtra govt’s calendar

Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in Maharashtra was locked in a fresh controversy ahead of Lok Sabha polls by `omitting’ names of prominent social reformers Dr BR Ambedkar and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, in the government’s annual calendar, published by the information department.

As this would be a sensitive political issue that any party can afford during election period, this makes the opposition to get a chance to attack the BJP-led government for this act of neglecting the anniversaries of Dr BR Ambedkar and social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, in its annually published government calendar.

Moreover, the government calendar has errors and photographs of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his ministers are only published prominently. State information department in a statement clarified that the state government, in 2013, took the decisions of not celebrating the death anniversaries of any leaders, therefore, the names of Dr Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule were not mentioned.

“We have not done anything deliberately but followed the custom of the government since 2013. We have mentioned these leaders’ birth anniversaries, but have not mentioned the death anniversaries because of government’s decision of not celebrating and mentioning the death anniversaries of any leaders. Only Indira Gandhi’s death anniversary is mentioned on the instruction of central government,” stated the clarification note.

The leader of the opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil accused that the BJP-led government is anti -Bahujan and it has shown again and again through its act. “The BJP-led government only take the names of our leaders for political use. We condemn this act in the strongest word. We demand the apology and rectification as early as possible,” Vikhe Patil said.

NCP MP Supriya Sule also criticised BJP-led government in Maharashtra. Sule tweeted that, “One hand government takes the Shahu-Phule-Ambedkar name but other the hand, they forget to mention their names in its calendar. It is really shocking that there is no reference of Dr BR Ambedkar and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.”

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