'Dalit icons not honoured, so BSP doing task'
Ayesha Arvind & Vandana Keelor, TNN | Oct 15, 2011, 04.13AM IST
NOIDA: Inaugurating Dalit Prerna Sthal and Green Garden in sector 95
on Friday, Mayawati delivered a lengthy speech that was clearly aimed
at the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh early next year. The chief
minister spent a good 40 minutes addressing the audience, using every
opportunity to take on the Congress and all other opposition parties.
She even challenged the Congress at one point, claiming that
irrespective of whatever antics it employs ahead of the 2012 assembly
elections or the 2014 Vidhan Sabha elections, "not a single Dalit
vote, either from UP or from any part of the country will go to it."
Mayawati began her speech by justifying the need for the ostentatious
park though there were several similar memorials in Lucknow, claiming
that it was the Congress party's sheer neglect of Dalit leaders that
prompted her in the first place to commemorate them. "This memorial is
for the many Dalits who now live in the capital and also for the
people of western UP who can't visit Lucknow," she said.
"The western banks of the Yamuna in Delhi are dotted with statutes and
memorials dedicated to Gandhi and Nehru families but there is nothing
to honour the memories of Dalit leaders like B R Ambedkar and Kanshi
Ram in spite of the fact that the latter died in Delhi," she said.
"Hence, the BSP has taken it upon itself to do the needful."
Mayawati said that contrary to reports, she had spent only one per
cent of the state budget on her dream projects. A majority of the
funds, she said, were mobilized from donations, adding that even that
one per cent amount would be recovered through ticket fees.
The chief minister lashed out at the Congress for doing little for the
poor that, according to her, had forced thousands of residents of UP
to migrate to other cities. Dubbing the Congress as an "anti-Dalit"
party, Mayawati blamed the Centre for failing to introduce quotas for
Muslims and the poor from upper castes. She targeted Congress
president Sonia Gandhi, alleging she had not kept her promise in the
disproportionate assets case. "When the BJP government at the Centre
ordered a CBI raid in 2003 at my residence and at the houses of my
aides and relatives, at a time when our leader Kanshi Ram was battling
for his life in a Delhi hospital, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had
called me to assure that when the Congress returned to power I would
be granted justice. But from 2004 till date, nothing of that sort had
happened," Mayawati said. The CM also attacked the central government
for not taking any decision on Poorvanchal, Harit Pradesh and
Then she turned her guns on the BJP. Alleging that the BJP was
misusing CBI to its advantage, Mayawati commented tongue-in-cheek that
L K Advani's rathyatra should have begun from Karnataka.
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