Jaipur: India gained independence from British in 1947 but according to one BSP leader, the imperialists should have continued to rule the country for another 100 years so that people belonging to the SC, ST and OBC sections could be uplifted.
The controversial remark was made by Dharamveer Singh, state chief of BSP, at a rally on Thursday. "Britishers should've ruled this country for 100 more yrs. Had that happened, ST/ST/OBCs wouldn't have been oppressed," he said.
Dharamveer went on to claim that BR Ambedkar would not have been able to help the backward classes in the country had the Britishers not allowed him to study. "Under the rule of Britishers, Babasaheb got the opportunity to study. If they wouldn't have come, no school would've admitted Babasaheb," he said.
The remarks have not gone down too well with political rivals who have slammed Dharamveer for insulting the countless sacrifices made by an entire country during the freedom struggle. Some have even asked the leader to take refuge in UK if he feels there a debt to be repaid to that country for its rule.
The BSP is looking at making votes from backward classes count in the elections scheduled to take place in Rajasthan on December 7. The party is contesting in all 200 seats and has claimed that it will register a strong performance because people have lost hope in the ruling BJP and that they see no hope in Congress at all. The contest here though is expected to be close with BJP working overtime to mobilise its workers and leaders, and even party chief Amit Shah has held numerous rallies to back CM Vasundhara Raje. Meanwhile, Congress is taking solace in some surveys which predict that the party could make a comeback in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.