Published: March 15, 2010
Updated: March 15, 2010 18:13 IST Lucknow, March 15, 2010
Elephants in Dalit memorials not same as BSP symbol: Mayawati
Attributing the moves to freeze the Bahujan Samaj Party's election
symbol to a conspiracy backed by the opposition parties, the Uttar
Pradesh Chief Minister, Ms. Mayawati has rejected the suggestion that
the elephant statues erected in parks and memorials to Dalit icons
were related to her party's election symbol.
In the statues the elephants have been shown in "swagat mudra" (
welcome posture ) with their snouts up, whereas the elephant in the
BSP's symbol has been shown with its snout down, Ms. Mayawati said.
Making a frontal assault on the Congress, the BSP president said if
the elephant statues could be brought to the notice of the Election
Commission on the ground that the jumbo is party's symbol, notice
should also be taken of the Congress' symbol of the 'hand' and the
Samajwadi Party's symbol, 'cycle.'
Addressing a massive rally on the occasion of 25 years BSP's existence
and the birth anniversary of its founder, Kanshi Ram, at the Ramabai
Ambedkar Maidan here on Monday, Ms. Mayawati said the Election
Commission should take a hard look at the Congress and SP's symbols.
Cycles were being distributed to the beneficiaries of the Savitribai
Phule Scheme for girls launched by the BSP Government and the hand was
used by leaders of all political parties to welcome people, the Uttar
Pradesh Chief Minister said. "In that case the hand and cycle symbols
should be de-registered," Ms. Mayawati remarked.
Significantly, the BSP has to submit its reply on a petition filed
against the elephant statues with the poll panel on March 18.
Ms. Mayawati further justified the erection of her own statues when
she said, "Is there any law in the country which bans building statues
of living leaders and whether funds can be spent only on erecting
statues of dead leaders and not the living ones?". She said statues of
Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi have been erected
throughout the country by the Congress and several schemes, colleges,
universities, airports, railway stations and roads using government
funds have been named after them.
Ms. Mayawati added that in 63 years since Independence crores have
been spent on building memorials and museums of Gandhi-Nehru family.
But, when statues and memorials to Mr. Kanshi Ram and other icons are
built, the BSP Government has been charged by the opposition with
misusing government money, Ms. Mayawati said.
In her 90 minute long address Ms. Mayawati trained her guns on the
Congress and dubbed it as anti-Dalit, which supported the caste
system. She blamed the Congress regimes for the corruption in Uttar
Pradesh and inter-related problems, and accused the UPA Government for
stalling the state's development by not releasing the Central funds.
She said the BSP had achieved much more in the 25 years of its
existence than the 125 year old Congress could gain in the first 21
years of its formation.
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister accused the Congress and the
opposition parties of trying to finish the BSP in the last 25 years by
making baseless allegations against Mr. Kanshi Ram and engineering a
split in the party. She also mentioned the moves to corner her in the
Taj Corridor and disproportionate assets case. Ms. Mayawati expressed
the satisfaction that despite the opposition tirade, she had managed
to strengthen the BSP movement. The BSP president cautioned the party
workers against the designs of the Congress, which, she said is trying
to regain power in U.P.
The BSP rally was one of the biggest seen in recent years in Lucknow
with the party workers present from all parts of the country. Voicing
her opposition to the Women's Reservation Bill in its present, Ms.
Mayawati announced that dharna and demonstration would be held at the
distruct headquarters on April 14.
She also threatened to launch a countrywide agitation if the prices
were not brought down by the Centre.
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