Thursday, May 19, 2011

[ZESTCaste] I never opposed giving Ambedkar''s name to varsity: Thackeray

I never opposed giving Ambedkar''s name to varsity: Thackeray
PTI | 07:05 PM,May 18,2011

Mumbai, May 18 (PTI) Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today hit out his
political opponents for alleging that he had opposed renaming of
Marathwada University after Dr B R Ambedkar. "Let me make it clear
once again. I never opposed renaming of the university. I had
suggested that the name Marathwada University be retained, and
Ambedkar's name be added to it," Thackeray said in a statement. The
Sena chief's comments came in response to criticism by political
rivals, including one-time protege and present Maharashtra PWD
minister, Chhagan Bhujbal, who have questioned the ideological
contradictions in the saffron party's newly-formed alliance with dalit
leader Ramdas Athawale's RPI. "RPI leader R S Gavai came to my
residence and I suggested that Ambedkar's name be added to the
existing name of the university. He liked the idea and phoned Sharad
Pawar (the then Chief Minister) who also gave his approval," Thackeray
said. "My stance was that while renaming the varsity, the pride of
Marathwada region should remain intact," he said. At a recent NCP
meeting, Bhujbal had ridiculed coming together of RPI and the
opposition Sena-BJP, commenting that leaders of both groups should
clarify their stands on various issues, such as reservations, where
their respective views were poles apart. In 1994, the Marathwada
University, set up in 1958, was renamed as `Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar
Marathwada University' after a long and often violent agitation which
took on the "dalits versus non-dalits" hues.

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