Construction of memorials to continue, despite opposition: Mayawati

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Lucknow, Apr 14 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday said that despite stiff opposition, the construction work of the memorials of leaders and saints from low-castes would continue.

Mayawati, who is also the chief of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), had earlier faced criticisms for her grand celebrations and building parks with massive statues of Dalit icons including that of herself.

Mayawati has been in the past accused of using public funds for her party, a charge she has refuted.

The controversy over the display of opulence to mark 25 years of BSP last month gave further ammunition to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre, which is aggressively campaigning to win over the key state in 2012 elections.

"Our government and party will not bow down on the construction work of memorials, statues, parks in the memory of our leaders, despite opposition, in what ever form," said Mayawati after paying her tributes to Dr B.R.Ambedkar.

Mayawati further said that if the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other parties had honoured leaders and saints from low-castes at par with their counterparts from other sections of society, then there would not have been need for the BJP to build memorials for them.

"I want to repeat that if during their rule Congress, BJP and other opposition parties, had paid respect and honoured saints and leaders from low-castes at par with their counterparts from other sections of society," said Mayawati.

"Then there would not have been any need for our party to build memorials, statues, parks and museums in their memory," she added.

Earlier taking a dig at the Mayawati Government, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on his visit to Ambedkar Nagar on Wednesday, said that the Congress Party would revive in Uttar Pradesh and bring development to the state.

Rahul Gandhi flagged off ten vehicles as part of a Chetna Yatra (awareness drive) to cover all 403-assembly constituencies in the state to mark 125 years of the party's establishment.

The Congress Party is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the programme is a success, and has mobilized its workers from the adjoining districts of Barabanki, Gonda, Faizabad, Azamgarh and Basti for the Chetna Yatra.

Mayawati had reportedly denied permission to Gandhi to garland a statue of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar during his visit.

Both the Congress and the BSP are taking out rallies here today to mark the 119th birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar. (ANI)

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