Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, was conferred on B R Ambedkar out of compulsion and not by heart, said All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
"Tell me out of the total Bharat Ratna awards given how many were Dalit, Adivasi, Muslim, poor, upper caste and Brahmin? Babasaheb (Ambedkar) was given Bharat Ratna, but out of compulsion and not by heart (Mujhe yeh batao ki jitne Bharat Ratna ke award diye gaye usmein se kitne dalit, adivasi, musalmanon, garibon, upper caste aur Brahminon ko diye gaye? Babasaheb ko Bharat Ratna diya par dil se nahi diya majboori ki halat mein diya)," Owaisi said at the Vanchit Bahujan Sabha on Sunday.
His statement comes days after the central government announced the names of former President Pranab Mukherjee, late legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika, and late social activist Nanaji Deshmukh as the recipients of the coveted honour this year.