(Eds: Updates with fresh inputs, background) Lucknow, Apr 13 (PTI) Security has been beefed up in Uttar Pradesh in view of Ambedkar Jayanti tomorrow to prevent any possible attempt at inciting violence, with political parties drawing up separate plans for the occasion.
Districts magistrates and superintendents of police have been asked to ensure peace and check any violence in their respective areas of jurisdiction, an official spokesperson said here today.
District authorities have been directed by the home department to intensify patrolling to ensure that no loss of life and property takes place and clamp prohibitory orders wherever necessary, he said.
Seeking to take the wind out of opposition parties’ sails ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is planning to hold grand events to mark the birth anniversary of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar across the state.
They are also planning to honour Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with the title of “Dalit Mitra”.
“Party workers will take out padayatras in the districts to mark the birth anniversary of the architect of the Constitution,” said Kaushal Kishore, BJP MP from Mohanlalganj in Lucknow, who is also the state president of UP BJP’s SC Morcha.
After its new found bonhomie with the BSP won it two Lok Sabha seats in recent bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party is set to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti in a big way, taking their friendship a step forward.
The SP, which had stayed content with celebrating anniversaries of socialist idealogues like Ram Manohar Lohia and Janeshwar Misra so far, has asked all its district units to celebrate the occasion at the district party headquarters or any public place to mark the day.
This would be perhaps for the first time that a conscious effort was being made by the SP to ensure celebrations on Ambedkar Jayanti on a big scale.
The BSP has been organising Ambedkar Jayanti annually on a grand scale with its chief Mayawati leading partymen in paying homage to the Dalit icon.
A senior SP leader on condition of anonymity said that party would try to remove doubts, if any, from the minds of people that its ideology was at variance with that of BSP and reach out to all sections of society.
The understanding between the SP and the BSP in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bye-elections stopped the victory march of the BJP, which along with its allies had bagged 73 of the 80 parliamentary seats in the state.
The Ambedkar Mahasabha has announced to confer ‘Dalit Mitra’ award (Friend of Dalits) on Adityanath at a time of growing debate over “rising incidents of atrocities” against Dalits, against which the opposition parties have raised their voice.
Hitting out at political parties for politicising Ambedkar’s legacy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this month said that no regime had honoured the Dalit icon like his government had.
His remarks had come close on the heels of widespread violent protests over a Supreme Court verdict putting in place “safeguards” to prevent the misuse of a law to prevent atrocities against SCs and STs.
Meanwhile, in Muzaffarnagar, Superintendent of Police Ombir Singh said security was tightened keeping in view the violence that had broken out during the protests by Dalit groups on April 2 against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
More than 40 cases were registered in the district in connection with the violence.
Prohibitory orders were in place and any procession would be allowed only after getting permission from the district authorities, he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.