Leaders cutting across party lines paid rich tributes to Dr B R Ambedkar on his 129th birth anniversary on Tuesday and urged people to light a lamp at home as mark of respect to the Dalit icon and not venture out.
In view of the lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak, celebrations were subdued as Ambedkar's followers and politicians did not flock 'Chaitya Bhoomi', the Constitution architect's memorial in central Mumbai.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray offered floral tributes in front of a photograph of Ambedkar at his residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra.
Thackeray in a statement said Ambedkar upheld principles of freedom, equality and brotherhood.
"We should preserve these principles to keep the country united," he said.
State governor B S Koshyari offered floral tributes to Ambedkar in Raj Bhavan, while deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar paid his respects at the Dalit icon's portrait at the state secretariat.
Union minister Ramdas Athawale appealed to Ambedkar's followers to stay indoors.
"Garland Babasaheb's portrait at 11 am in the morning and in evening light lamp of equality outside your homes," he said in a tweet.
The minister said Ambedkar had shown the path of equality to discrimination prevailing in the society.
Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar said Ambedkar was a symbol of knowledge.
"Let us stay indoors and pay tribute to Ambedkar who was known as a symbol of knowledge. Let us light a lamp for the Constitution of India," he tweeted.
Mumbai Congress president Eknath Gaikwad in his message said, "Let us strive together to work towards a just and equal India. Ambedkar was the architect of our Constitution and also the driving force behind our greatest institutions."
The Maharashtra Congress on its Twitter handle described Ambedkar as a "great crusader of social equality".
Shiv Sena leader and state Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray in a tweet said, "My humble tributes to the architect of Indian Constitution Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Ambedkar."
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis also tweeted his respects to Ambedkar.