Nagpur: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati on Monday said her party did not agree with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's statement that India was a "Hindu Rashtra" and pointed out that Babasaheb Ambedkar drafted the Constitution on the basis of secularism.
Campaigning for her party here for the October 21 Assembly polls in Maharashtra, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said "failed" policies of the Narendra Modi government had led to the current economic slowdown.
She claimed the opposition Congress and the ruling BJP had an "internal understanding" to stall reservations in promotions for Dalits and tribals in government jobs.
"The government has made ineffective laws made in the interest of Dalits and tribals. This has given impetus to those who are exploiting the downtrodden in the country," she alleged, adding that the condition of religious minorities was also worrisome.
"Recently, the RSS chief in a statement said Muslims are happy in the country because India is a 'Hindu Rashtra'.
The BSP does not agree with this statement. The RSS chief should have read the Sachar Committee report before making such a statement," she said.
The report, under the chairmanship of Justice Rajinder Sachar, details the 'Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India'.
"We do not agree with the RSS chief's statement that India is a Hindu Rashtra. Because Babasaheb Ambedkar did not draft the Constitution keeping in mind only Hindus. He kept in mind people of all religions and based it on secularism.
"Hence, India is a secular nation and not a Hindu Rashtra," the Dalit leader
Addressing the RSS's Vijayadashmi function in Nagpur on October 8, Bhagwat had said, "The vision and proclamation of the Sangh regarding the identity of the nation, social identity of all of us, and the identity of the country's nature, are clear, well-thought-of and firm that Bharat is Hindustan, Hindu Rashtra."