The Congress on Friday charged Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati with "wasting public money on grandiose projects" instead of providing basic needs like health, education and irrigation to the people.
The Congress statement was in reaction to Mayawati inaugurating the Rs 684 crore Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal park in Noida, which has statues of 24 elephants, and statues of Dalit icons BR Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram and of herself.
"The BSP government has been spending public money on non-essential things when the state has worst indices of infant mortality and education," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told NDTV news channel.
"It is evident there is a sense of outrage among the people of UP against the developmental priorities of chief minister Mayawati."
Tewari said the litmus test of the Bahujan Samaj Party government will held in April-May 2012 when the assembly elections are held.
"That would be the time to take a call on how popular or unpopular the Mayawati government is," said Tewari.
"I think the people of UP are wise enough to look at such misuse of public money."
The Congress spokesperson said the party will make misuse of public money an issue in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
Another Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdary said "money spent on the Ambedkar memorial should have been diverted to schools, hospitals, safety for women, farmers".
"Mayawati's priority is herself. It is not about the Dalit icon, but about missed priorities," said Chowdary.
"It is nothing but wastage of money. If Rs 700 crore was used for development of poor people or for the country it was worth it," said Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi.