UP chief minister Mayawati on Sunday launched development schemes worth Rs 6,035 crore on the occasion of her mentor Kanshi Ram’s birth anniversary, even as preparations for assembly elections, due early next year, are on.
The stress of the projects was largely on the amelioration of the conditions of the Dalits – the chief minister’s support base.
The state government, run by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), founded by Kanshi Ram, in a statement said the chief minister had launched various projects including welfare schemes for the poor and Dalits in memory of the late leader.
Apart from the Kanshi Ram memorial, the government has also constructed the Kanshi Ram eco-garden.
Mayawati, who visited the Kanshi Ram memorial, laid the foundation stones for 484 projects including roads, bridges, drinking water schemes and power plants in the state.
An integrated development project for Dalits bastis (slums) in the state has also been launched.
The chief minister was accompanied by BSP general secretary SC Mishra and minister Nasimuddin Siddique.
A large number of party workers from all the assembly segments in Lucknow and adjoining areas had assembled to participate in the function. Buddhist monks offered prayers at the memorial.
The chief minister also visited the Prerana Sthal, where the ashes of Kanshi Ram, who died in 2006, are kept.
Reacting to the announcement, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Subodh Srivastav said, "These announcements are political gimmicks."