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'Kanshi Ram brought Ambedkar back into political scene'
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | October 09, 2006 10:43 IST
Last Updated: October 09, 2006 18:29 IST
President A P J Abdul Kalam on Monday condoled the death of Bahujan Samajwadi Party founder Kanshi Ram.
President Kalam said the nation has lost a leader who played an important role in post-independence India for the rights of the underprivileged.
In his condolence message, Kalam said, 'In his passing away, the nation has lost a public leader who always had the interests of the downtrodden close to his heart.'
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Kanshi Ram as a great social reformer.
'He was one of the greatest social reformers of our time and his political ideas and movements had a significant impact on our political evolution.
'He had a larger understanding of social change and was able to unite various underprivileged sections of our society and provide a political platform where their voices would be heard,' Dr Singh said in a written statement.
He said the credit for bringing Dr B R Ambedkar back into the Indian political scene goes to Kanshi Ram.
"People had almost forgotten Dr Ambedkar, but it goes to the credit of Kanshi Ramji that the great leader was brought to the centre of Indian political scene," he said.
Advani recalled Kanshi Ram's contribution to Indian politics by creating a space for a party for the downtrodden. "He was a government employee. He resigned and started his own political outfit and virtually single handedly steered it," he said.
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, former Delhi chief minister Madan Lal Khurana and BJP leader Sahib Singh Verma were also among the first to reach Kanshi Ram's residence.
He died at 0030 IST due to complications arising out of multiple ailments like stroke, diabetes and hypertension.
He was bed-ridden for more than two years. Kanshi Ram's funeral will be held at Nigambodh Ghat, Delhi, at 3 pm.
With PTI inputs