Monday, October 14, 2002

Controversy over statues of Dalit leaders in Lucknow

Kamal Khan

Monday, October 14, 2002 (Lucknow):

Mayawati has triggered a fresh political controversy in Lucknow by installing huge statues of Dalit leaders in a large maidan. The land, the Congress says, was meant for an Indira Gandhi institute.

The installed figureheads include Dr Ambedkar, Narayan Guru and Jyotiba Phule. Mayawati says the Congress had abandoned the idea of an Indira Gandhi centre long ago.

"Romesh Bhandari had ordered that a five star hotel be built here," maintained Mayawati.

The controversy has injected new vigour into a dormant Uttar Pradesh Congress that has threatened to protest Mayawati's decision across the state.

"The Indira Gandhi Centre has become a prestige issue for the Congress," said Ram Krishna Dwivedi, senior Vice President, UP Congress Committee.

But Mayawati has already planned a Rs 44 crore complex with a huge library that will document movement for social change and against racism. Maywati-phobia has jolted officials into rapid progress in the park in just 20 days.

Source: NDTV, October 14, 2002

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