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Nation pays homage to B R Ambedkar on 119th birth anniversary

President Pratibha Patil led the nation in paying homage to the late Dr B R Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution of India, on his 119th birth anniversary here today.


Ms Patil joined other leaders in offering floral tributes at the statue of Dr Ambedkar on the lawns of the Parliament House complex this morning.


Vice-President M Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, ruling United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj were amongst those present on the occasion.


Also present were Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik, Minister of Labour & Employment Mallikarjun Kharge, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal and Minister of State, Social Justice & Empowerment D. Napolean.


Thousands of people visited theParliament House Complex since morning to pay tributes to Dr Ambedkar, regarded as a messiah of the marginalised and downtrodden sections of society. The function began with a prayer by Buddhist monks. Later, artistes of the Song and Drama Division presented songs.


The function was organised by the Ambedkar Foundation, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.


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