Mulayam ‘unveils’ statue war
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday forcibly unveiled a statue of Ram Manohar Lohia here to commemorate the socialist leader’s birth centenary year.india Updated: Mar 23, 2010 23:46 IST
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday forcibly unveiled a statue of Ram Manohar Lohia here to commemorate the socialist leader’s birth centenary year.
The police, who were caught unawares, used force to prevent the unveiling, injuring party leader Bhagwati Singh. Singh has been hospitalised.
Soon after Yadav’s departure, the police removed all the garlands from the statue, which was installed three years ago in the Lohia Hospital premises when Yadav was the chief minister of the state.
“The Mayawati government has deliberately not unveiled the statue, despite several requests. The disrespect to Lohia was not tolerable, and so we unveiled it ourselves today,” Yadav said.
Later, addressing a large gathering at the Lohia Park, Yadav attacked the state and central governments over their failure to control price rise.
Yadav’s son and state president Akhilesh began a 17-km cycle rally in the city as part of an anti-government campaign.
Yadav called upon party workers to carry on the campaign to bring about social, economic and political change in the country.
He also criticised the police for removing the flower garlands. “It is shameful and ironical that the police removed flower garlands from a statue in a state whose chief minister loves to be garlanded in currency notes,” he said.
Earlier this month, Chief Minister Mayawati had received two garlands made of currency notes worth several millions of rupees. “Never ever string currency notes in a garland to honour any one. It is anti-national and disrespectful of the national currency,” he said.
Reacting sharply to Yadav’s move, BSP state president Swami Prasad Maurya called the action highly irresponsible. “They should not have created trouble in the hospital,” he said.