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Rediff.com  » News » Austerity measures a drama, Shivaji statue election gimmick, says Mayawati

Austerity measures a drama, Shivaji statue election gimmick, says Mayawati

September 18, 2009 02:00 IST

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati dubbed the austerity measures initiated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance as a "drama". "By travelling in economy class and trains, Congress leaders are staging a drama to conceal their weakness. Wrong economic policies of the Congress government led to inflation which affected poor people of the country," Mayawati said during foundation stone laying of Kanshi Ram Eco Green park in Lucknow.

She alleged that in the past Congress leaders have undertaken pleasure trips in the country and abroad. "Now when the Congress has lost its mass base, its leaders are staying at huts of poor people and are dining with them. They are merely indulging into political gimmickry," she said. The UP CM also took a swipe at the party for announcing to construct a statue of Shivaji just before elections in Maharashtra were announced. "Why is the Congress, which has ruled the state for the last 10 years, decided to honour Shivaji at the time of elections. This is an effort to affect the elections," she alleged but clarified her party was not against Shivaji's statue to be raised inside the sea. "Is spending several crore rupees on a memorial not misuse of public exchequer or will it not affect the ecological balance," she questioned, alleging that the UPA government was trying to stall the Noida park project by raising the environment issue.

Mayawati alleged opposition parties protest against construction of memorials and statues and allegations that it was misuse of public money was indicative of their casteist mindset. "When BSP regained power in the state, it started construction of a place in memory of Dr Ambedkar and other Dalit icons," she pointed out. Had Congress, which had ruled the country for 50 years and Uttar Pradesh for 40 years, constructed memorials and parks to honour leaders of Dalits and other backward castes, then there would have been no need for all these construction. But unfortunately Congress cannot see beyond members of Nehru-Gandhi clan," she said.

She alleged that after independence Congress had spent several crores of rupees in constructing memorials of members of Nehru-Gandhi family right from Rajghat to other parts of the country but "does not term it as misuse of public exchequer". "What BSP government has spent is negligible as compared to the money spent by Congress governments," she claimed. "The Congress even overlooked its own great leaders like Rajendra Prasad, Subhash Chandra Bose and Gopalkrishna Gokhale," she charged.

Mayawati said Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was following the footsteps of the Congress. "SP had always made attempts to get memorials constructed to honour Dalit icons razed and when it failed in its attempt, the party got false writs filed in courts," she alleged.

Referring to Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati said he had announced that he will get all the memorials and parks demolished. "I would like to warn him that any such move will result in serious law and order problem in the country and would lead to imposition of President's rule," she said. On construction of memorials and statues of Dalit leaders at Noida park, Mayawati said the construction work was started at the request of Dalits living in Delhi who were "piqued with Congress' partisan attitude towards their leaders and saints". She accused the Centre of having moved the Supreme Court with a "casteist mindset" on the issue of construction of memorials and statues at Noida park. "Construction of a memorial dedicated to Dalit icons didn't go down well with the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre," she alleged.

She also warned a section of the media not to publish reporst on the basis of "wrong facts". "They should find out the right facts before publishing any news and should shun disinformation campaign of opposition parties," she said. The Chief Minister said allegation that construction works continued in violation of the Supreme Court order was "far from facts". "My government has honoured and implemented the court orders," she said.

Mayawati said there was no writ petition pending against construction works being carried out around Ambedkar memorial in Gomti Nagar in Lucknow. "To apprise the SC with correct facts, the government, through the chief secretary, filed an affidavit before the court on Thursday," she said. She dismissed as "baseless" the opposition's allegation that her government was concentrating more on erecting stones and felling trees. "In reality, the government has taken several efforts to conserve environment and protect ecology," she claimed.

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