Sanand (Ahmedabad): Slamming Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani for reportedly not accepting a giant tricolour made by Dalits citing lack of space, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said he would have accepted even a 50,000 km-long national flag even if he had little space to keep it.
The Congress vice president also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rupani have space in their hearts only for a few industrialists, but not Dalits, farmers and poor.
Gandhi was addressing a gathering of Dalits at Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), a vocational training institute near Sanand town in Ahmedabad district, where he accepted a 125 x 83.3 feet tricolour weighing 240 kg.
The national flag was earlier meant to be presented to Rupani.
In August, the DSK had even carried the tricolour to Gandhinagar.
However, officials at the collectorate had allegedly refused to accept it citing lack of space.
“This flag is not yours alone, but belongs to the entire country. He (Rupani) said he has no place to keep the flag. Even if you gave me a 15 km or 50,000 km-long flag, and even if I had one inch space to keep it, I would have taken it,” Gandhi said.
“Like you, I have a huge space in my heart for this flag. It is the mindset of the BJP chief ministers or the prime minister that they have no space for this flag or your hard work. But they have the entire Gujarat for 5-10 industrialists, who can get any amount of space they want in Gujarat or across India,” Gandhi said.
He said the prime minister or Gujarat chief minister had no space for Dalits, farmers, poor and small businessmen.
Gandhi attacked Modi and Rupani over the Una Dalit flogging incident.
He also assailed the prime minister over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at the University of Hyderabad (UoH).
On the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit organsied by the state government, he said the state is vibrant only for “5-7 industrialists of Modiji” and not farmers, tribals, poor, or Dalits.
He said the Congress wants to eradicate untouchability from not just one village, but from the mind of every Indian.
Gandhi said that was also the goal of B R Ambedkar.
The members of DSK said the tricolour was made by Dalits, who also donated money to raise Rs 54,000 for it.
They said Gandhi wants the national flag gifted to him to be kept at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum in New Delhi.