“From all those people criticising installation of my statues, I would like to ask that in which book of law it is written that statues of living persons can not be erected,” said Mayawati at a rally in Lucknow to celebrate the Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) 25th anniversary.
The BSP chief claimed the statues–built across Uttar Pradesh and estimated to have cost hundreds of crores–are being installed to honour late BSP founder Kanshiram’s will. “Kanshiramji in his will has directed to install my statues along with those of him,” she said.
Mayawati criticised her rival political parties for demanding that the BSP’s election symbol, the elephant, be withdrawn on the grounds that the animal’s statues had been installed at memorials and parks.
“The BSP’s election symbol elephant’s trunk is pointing towards ground, whereas statues of those installed in parks and memorials are in welcome posture with trunks pointing towards sky,” she said.
She said similar statues were already installed at various temples and religious places in the country and were part of the culture.
“If this is the ground, then the election symbol of the Samajwadi Party and Congress should also be forfeited,” she demanded.
Mayawati said her government had distributed lakhs of cycles under Savitribai Phule scheme and people wave their hands as a welcome gesture. “Both of these things are symbol of SP and Congress,”
BSP was forced to install statues of Dalit icons as they were not given due honour by any other government or political party, she said.
“Various governments installed statues of their leaders in parks and memorials and launched a number of scheme, but when this is done by BSP they term it misuse of government coffers,” she said.