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Mysore, Feb 6:  Former Union Minister V. Sreenivasa Prasad yesterday advised Dalits not to be emotional over the removal of Dr. Ambedkar's portrait from the chamber of Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

Presiding over the valedictory of Sarvodaya Day under the joint auspices of Gandhi Bhavan and Omkarmal Somani B.Ed. College at Nellur Shed Colony in Vidyaranyapuram he said: "It is not the fault of Yediyurappa. His office staff might have removed the portrait for cleaning the room. The Dalits should stop this kind of emotional protest," he added.

Recalling his days as Union Minister, Prasad said that he installed a new portrait of Dr. Ambedkar when he occupied the office. "While vacating the office I took the portrait along with me. I do not know what my successors did," he added.

He observed that installation of portraits should be optional.

Prasad, however, said that Dalits were free to urge the Government to make it mandatory to install portraits of Dr. Ambedkar in all the offices from Village Panchayat to Parliament.

Prasad opposed the attitude of using great leaders for election politics. "Congress murdered Gandhiji for election politics. Janata Party murdered Jaya Prakash Narayan," Prasad remarked and advised BSP to stop using Dr. Ambedkar for votes.

"Let us not destroy his personality. He should remain the spiritual leader of Dalits," he observed.

Gandhiji was responsible for the impression that Congress and Dalits were two sides of the same coin. Gandhiji's struggle against untouchability benefitted the Congress, Prasad opined.

He also felt that India could have been totally different had Gandhiji taken over the leadership after independence as Mao did in China.

Former Chairman of Dryland Development Board K.R. Mohankumar, Dr. Mailahalli Revanna of Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies, former Mayor R. Narayan, Murugesh, Bhyrappa and others were present.

Gandhi Bhavan Director Dr. S. Shivarajappa spoke.


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