Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday claimed that the memorials and statues erected by her in Lucknow and in Noida will not put any further drain on the state exchequer.
Replying to the discussion in the state assembly here on the motion of thanks to the Governor's address, she said: "I would like to clarify that we have not made any further allocations towards the memorials with effect from the next financial year."
Contrary to clear cut allocation of more than Rs 5,000 crore in the past budgets, Mayawati claimed that only one percent of the state's annual budget was allocated towards the memorials. Uttar Pradesh's budget is of the order of about Rs 120,000 crore.
This was at variance with the state government's own admission before the country's apex court of about Rs.2,600 crore being spent on these memorials.
Intending to justify the expenditure, she said: "This would not have been required if the past governments had cared to show some respect towards different dalit icons in whose memory nothing was ever built".
"On the other hand, successive government - both at the centre and the states - only concentrated on building memorials in the name of their own leaders," she said, adding that the upkeep and security of these monuments have been costing the state exchequer a fortune "about which no body talks".
Simultaneously, she also blamed the central government for turning down her repeated demand for a special grant of Rs.80,000 crore for the desired development of the state's backward regions of Bundelkhand and Purvanchal.
"The central government has not paid any heed to my repeated requests for a special economic package of Rs.80,000 crore for Bundelkhand and Purvanchal," she lamented.
Giving out a long list of development works undertaken across the state, she flayed the opposition for painting a false picture about her government's working. "The extent of work that my government has done for the larger good of the state and its people cannot be matched by any past government," Mayawati claimed.