President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today paid tributes to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on his 126th birth anniversary.
PM Modi reached at Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur. After paying floral tributes at the hallowed precincts, where the Dalit icon and architect of the Constitution embraced Buddhism in 1956 with his large number of followers, PM Modi prayed for a few minutes with folded hands.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also present.
Ahead of his visit, PM Modi tweeted yesterday that he was "extremely honoured" to be visiting Nagpur, on the "very special occasion" of Ambedkar Jayanti.
On a day-long visit to the second capital of Maharashtra, the PM is also to dedicate to the nation 14 units of thermal power plants at Koradi, Chandrapur and Parli with a total capacity of 3,230 MW.
These include three super-critical units with 660 MW each at Koradi, two of 500 MW each at Chandrapur, and one of 250 MW at Parli. "A series of development projects are going to be inaugurated in Nagpur, which will have a positive impact on people's lives," PM Modi had said in another tweet yesterday.
"The development projects include IIIT, IIM & AIIMS and launch of Koradi Thermal Power Station. Will also address a public meeting," he said.
"We are unwavering in our efforts towards creating a strong, prosperous & inclusive India of Dr Ambedkar's dreams," PM Modi said.
The PM later in the day will join the culmination of the DigiDhan Mela, where he will present awards to the mega draw winners of Lucky Grahak Yojna and DigiDhan Vyapar Yojna. '
He will also address a public rally at Mankapur in Nagpur.
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, chief architect of the Constitution of India, was born on 14th April 1891 at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh, which is now known as Dr Ambedkar Nagar. He was also the first law minister of India.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to dalit icon on his 126th birth anniversary. "Tributes to venerable Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on Ambedkar Jayanti. Jai Bhim," he tweeted.
"I am extremely honoured to be visiting Nagpur tomorrow, on the very special occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti," Modi tweeted.
"In Nagpur, I will pray at Deekshabhoomi, a holy spot that is very closely associated with Dr. Ambedkar," he added.
Deekshabhoomi is a sacred Buddhist monument where Ambedkar had converted to Buddhism on the occasion of Ashok Vijaya Dashami on October 14, 1956.
A number of development projects will be inaugurated, which will have a positive impact on people's lives, the Prime Minister said. The projects include an IIIT, an IIM, an AIIMS and the Koradi thermal power station.
The Prime Minister will also address a public meeting. "Will join culmination of the DigiDhan Mela, where I will present awards to Mega Draw winners of Lucky Grahak Yojana and DigiDhan Vyapar Yojna (sic)," Modi said in another tweet.
Prime Minister Modi will launch several crucial initiatives to further the digital payments revolution in India on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti in Nagpur. These projects include, the launch of BHIM Aadhaar platform for merchants, cash back and referral bonus schemes for BHIM and declaring about 75 townships going less-cash.
BHIM-Aadhaar, the merchant interface of the BHIM App will pave the way for making digital payments by using the Aadhaar platform. This will enable every Indian citizen to pay digitally using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchants? biometric enabled device which could be smart phone having a biometric reader.
With a view to achieving the target of 2500 crore digital transactions during the current financial year, the Prime Minister will also announce about 75 townships spread all over India as "less-cash townships".
These initiatives would further promote the digital movement and reinforce the vision of Baba Saheb for social empowerment of all through financial inclusion. Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also present awards to Mega Draw winners of Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojna.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi greeted the nation on Friday saying that Babasaheb was one of the greatest icons of modern India and his contribution to the making of India as a nation shall always remain undisputed.
"Dr BR Ambedkar's life is a guiding light to all us Indians who want to live together, united and under the shade of our Constitutional laws and ethos. The Indian Constitution is a living affirmation of the inclusive cohesiveness and guarantee for equality that Baba Saheb envisaged, she said," she said in a statement.
Paying tributes to one of the greatest son of India and champion of social equality and democracy, Sonia further said that the path of social democracy shown by Babasaheb shall forever remain relevant.
Echoing similar sentiments, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi asserted that Babasaheb's life and his work embody the struggle for the conscience of a nation.