Slamming Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for spending Rs 1,000 crore to install her own statues, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said the amount could have been used to provide basic amenities to the people of the state and wipe out poverty.
"Of what use will be the statues in that state? The Rs 1000 crore could have helped wipe out the poverty of thousands of people and provided basic amenities and education," he said while addressing a meeting to thank the voters of his constituency Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu on Sunday night.
Pointing out that people all over the country had rejected caste politics, he said this was especially true in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, "where 20 years of caste domination has gone".
"People like Mulayam Singh Yadav, who were practising caste politics, were rejected, though he was my friend. People there thought beyond caste politics and elected the Congress, which is above caste politics and works for the people," he said.
Voicing concern over the role of 'casteism' in elections in parts of Sivaganga, he urged the people to go by the government's achievements, not by considerations like caste. He said that caste based parties had been dealt a 'death blow' in Tamil Nadu.
"Though I regret the alliance with caste based Pattali Makkal Katchi earlier, the party faced a rout in the recent elections," he pointed out.
"If the Congress government does not achieve anything, then you hit it with a Semmatti (hammer) during the poll. You debate on what we have achieved and then vote," added Chidambaram.