Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Friday evening inaugurated Noida Park, which has been built at Rs 685 crore and named Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal, amid chanting of prayers by Buddhist monks and sprinkling of rose petals. Thousands of people at the park looked on, as giant screens displayed the proceedings."
The 82.5-acre park, located on the eastern banks of the Yamuna in Noida’s Sector 95 bordering Delhi, has huge statues of Mayawati, her mentor Kanshi Ram and Dr BR Ambedkar, Dalit icons and her parents. The park also has statues of elephants, the BSP symbol. Mayawati also dedicated a slew of other projects to her people. Busloads of people arrived all day to support their leader.
The CM said similar parks and memorials had been constructed in Lucknow but the one in Noida was necessitated for people living in west UP and areas bordering Delhi. “The Congress ruled for the longest time in the sate — 38 years — but its leaders did nothing to rid the people of poverty and unemployment. A vast chunk of the state’s population has been forced to migrate to cities, including Delhi, in search of jobs. They cannot go to Lucknow. This park is for them,” she said.
A beaming Mayawati went around the premises on a red carpet with her parents, top UP officials and party leaders. Addressing thousands of party workers, with a massive statue of her in the background, she denied the park’s construction was a misuse of taxpayers’ money, as only one per cent of the state budget had been spent on it. “A ticket-based entry system has been put in place and the revenue, thus generated, will be used for development of poor.”
“The Congress has built in Delhi memorials and parks in honour of those from the Nehru-Gandhi family, but its leaders have done nothing for Dalit icons. My four stints as chief minister have been dedicated to changing the social fabric of the society. The opposition tried to stall the project in Noida but finally we got justice from the Supreme Court,” she said.
The CM landed at a special helipad set up at the Apeejay School ground in Film City, got to the venue at 5.04pm and returned after a stay of a little over an hour. High-tech LED lights and fountains are in place and a special security force will permanently guard the memorial.
A total of 2,500 policemen had been stationed and anti-sabotage units, etc. were put in place.