Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said the state government has prepared a new plan for the development of Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur, and said its budget would be increased to Rs 190 crore from the earlier Rs 100 crore. The new development plan would be approved in the next 15 days, he said.
Fadnavis was addressing a gathering at Deekshabhoomi on the occasion of ‘Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din’. Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Ramdas Athawale were also present on the occasion. Deekshabhoomi is the place where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism after renouncing Hinduism.
“The issue of development of Deekshabhoomi is very important,” Fadnavis said. He said the government led by him had earlier approved Rs 100 crore for the development of Deekshabhoomi and even handed over Rs 40 crore for the work, while the remaining Rs 60 crore were ready for release.
“But I don’t know why the allotted funds of Rs 40 crore were not used in the last two-and-a-half years,” he said in an attack on the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government that collapsed in June this year.
“A new plan for the development of Deekshabhoomi has been prepared, which will be approved in 15 days. The amount meant for this task will be increased to Rs 190 crore…We don’t just announce, but believe in implementing what we say,” he said.
Fadnavis recalled how he and Union minister Athawale had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and convinced him to hand over to the state government the land of Indu Mill in Mumbai worth Rs 2,500 crore free of cost to build a memorial of Dr Ambedkar.
“The Constitution given by Dr Ambedkar has established the rule of equality in the country. Our Constitution fulfils the hope and expectation of each individual and has a solution for every problem before the country,” he said.
The deputy CM also assured to follow up with the central government to award an A-grade tourist place status for the Deekshabhoomi. Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari emphasized the need for economic equality to achieve the dream of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
He also said that the teachings of Gautam Buddha have been accepted worldwide, especially in south-east Asia.
“Gautam Buddha’s teachings are for the welfare of the entire world. His philosophy is based on the principles of freedom, equality and brotherhood. Buddha’s teaching is also as important as Dr Ambedkar’s Constitution for equality and brotherhood. Dr Ambedkar brought justice in the lives of socially, economically and educationally backward people,” he said.
He also said that if one has to compare the work of Dr Ambedkar globally, it would be similar to the contribution made by Martin Luther King Junior for the rights of black people in America.
“Dr Ambedkar worked to bring justice to the Dalits and the downtrodden people in India. He was also a prominent economist and an expert in the Constitution,” he added.
The Union Road Transport and Highways Minister also expressed confidence that Dr Babasaheb’s memorial, which will come up at Chaityabhoomi, will be of international standards. Athawale said PM Modi always mentions Dr Ambedkar in his speeches and has huge respect for the Constitution.
“PM Modi is running the country based on the principles of the Constitution,” he said.
The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment also expressed confidence that the Eknath Shinde-Fadnavis government in Maharashtra would do all necessary things for the development of Deekshabhoomi, Chaityabhoomi and Dr Ambedkar memorial in Mumbai.