A BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh sparked controversy after he said that the country’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, was given to “undeserving” people before 1990. It was the same time when the then VP Singh government conferred the honour to dalit icon BR Ambedkar posthumously. The statement attracted huge backlash.
But, Laxmi Narayan Yadav, who represents Sagar Lok Sabha seat, said he had made the speech to highlight that the award had eluded Ambedkar for long. He, however, confessed that the language he had used in his speech might be “a slip of the tongue”.
Yadav made this remark while addressing a programme to mark the 126th birth anniversary of Ambedkar in his constituency. “Pahile nachaiyye, gavaiyye…chhote, bade…jo jitna badmash tha woh utna jaldi le gaya’ (Before 1990, the dancers, singers, small, big (people)…the bigger the scoundrel the sooner he got the award),” he had said as per a report in HT.
The MP said the award eluded Ambedkar till 1990 due to the “casteist mindset of the country.” “Despite being a Thakur, VP Singh (then Prime Minister) felt the need to correct the injustice done to scheduled castes of the country. Since then, scheduled caste community is feeling a sense of pride,” Yadav had said.
He has now said that the controversy is unnecessary. “I know the people who are behind this controversy. It is unnecessary. I was just saying that it was in 1990 when then Prime Minister VP Singh bestowed Bharat Ratna on Ambedkar. The award had eluded Dr Ambedkar until then,” he said.
On the type language he had used, he said, “I was just trying to prove my point. The language I used was to make the local people understand. May be something went wrong due to slip of tongue,” Yadav added.