Lucknow, Apr 14: Defending putting up her statues beside Kanshi Ram's at various memorials her government built, BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday said it was done to honour the wishes of her mentor and her party will concentrate on development now and not on building memorials if voted to power.
Mayawati said all the memorials that needed to be built in honour of dalit icons have been built.
"When I come to power, I'll not build memorials, because my work is over. Now I'll focus only on development," she said.
She said the Opposition had crititised her government when she was erecting these memorials, museums, and parks in the memory of great people.
"They said the government money is being wasted. But now they are earning money from tickets on them. Now the criticism is that Mayawati had installed these statues so that she could put her own next to them," she said, She claimed her statues were installed next to Kanshi Ram's because of his "modern thinking, written will and verbal instructions".
"My statue was installed next to his (Ram's) as his successor and for dedicating my life to realising Ambedkar's dreams and welfare of dalits," she said.
"When this memorial was being built, Kanshi Ram said had Ambedkar been alive he'd have been very happy," she claimed. On elephants installed at these memorials, she said they are a "symbol of welcome" and not her party's election symbol.
She said she had been facing challenges and hurdles posed by her opponents while holding on to her views. "Other dalit and opportunistic leaders change their colour like a chameleon with change of government at the Centre and states...we faced good and bad times but (I) never changed myself," she said.
Mayawati also said several functions being held by political parties to celebrate Ambedkar's birth anniversary were not indicative of their respect to him but were "politically motivated" to garner the dalit votes.