Lucknow: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh got into a war of words on Tuesday over the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Ambedkar Memorial in Lucknow.
In a series of tweets, Mayawati termed the ceremony a “drama” ahead of the assembly elections in the state in 2022 and said the BSP is not against the memorial, but against the political interest behind it.
“After neglecting and harassing Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar and his crores of exploited victims followers for almost the entire time in power, now when the assembly elections are near, the BJP government in UP will lay the foundation stone of ‘Cultural Centre’ in the name of Baba Saheb. If all this is not drama, then what is?” she said.
Reacting sharply to Mayawati’s allegations, BJP Spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said the BSP should welcome the decision and not criticise it. “Baba Saheb Ambedkar does not belongs to one party, he belongs to everyone. Mayawati Ji should have welcome the foundation stone laying ceremony of Ambedkar Memorial, instead of criticizing the BJP on the issue. Baba Saheb was not a leader of the BSP, he was the leader of this country. It is the BJP who has taken steps to ensure proper respect to Baba Saheb be it anywhere,” Tripathi said.
Mayawati said the BSP is not against setting up of any centre in the name of Ambedkar but doing so “for the sake of electoral interest is a gross deception”.
“If the UP government had done this work earlier, then Mr. It would have been better if Rashtrapatiji was inaugurating this centre today, not the foundation stone,” she said.
The BSP Chief also alleged that BJP along with SP and Congress were all involved in atrocities against the Dalits and backwards. “By the way, in the case of such deceit and drama, whether it is the government of BJP or SP or Congress etc., no one is less than anyone, but in the case of killing the rights of Dalits and backwards etc. and injustice-atrocities on them, etc. they are the same. This is well-known and it is very sad,” she added.
“As a result of this, lakhs of government posts reserved for Dalits and backwards are still lying vacant and in the name of their saints, gurus and great men, the world class grand places and parks etc. built by the BSP government in UP have been grossly neglected since the last SP regime. This is going on continuously which is highly condemnable,” she stated.
Earlier on Tuesday, in the last leg of his five-day tour, President of India Ram Nath Kovind reached Lok Bhawan from Raj Bhavan at 11.30 am and virtually laid the foundation stone for Bharat Ratna Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Memorial and Cultural Center to be built in memory of Babasaheb in Lucknow’s Aishbagh.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Anandi Ben Patel, Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma along with many other senior leaders were also present on the occasion.
In this memorial and cultural centre to be built on 1.34 acres, on one hand, a 25-feet high statue of Ambedkar will be installed and also the holy ashes of Baba Saheb will be kept for darshan. Along with this, a state-of-the-art auditorium with a capacity of 750 people, virtual museum, library, research centre, dormitory, cafeteria and other basic facilities will be developed.