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Apologise now for criticising my Dalit memorials, Mayawati tells BJP

Mayawati said that Sardar Patel had a following all over the country and was respected by people cutting across caste and community, but dragging him into regional politics shows the “narrow-mindedness” of BJP leaders.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2018 21:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mayawati,BJP,Bhimrao Ambedkar
Paying tributes to Sardar Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary, Mayawati said he was a true nationalist and became a symbol of Indian culture.(PTI)

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Wednesday sought an apology from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for terming the Dalit memorials and statues built by her government as an “extravagance” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Rs 3000 crore, 182-metre high statue of India’s first home minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, in Gujarat. .

“BJP and RSS leaders used to attack my government over the construction of Dalit memorials and statues, including of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, in Lucknow and Noida. Now these leaders should tender an apology for condemning my government,” she said in a statement.

Paying tributes to Sardar Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary, she said he was a true nationalist and became a symbol of Indian culture but giving the statue a foreign name - the Statue of Unity - “clearly shows the scant respect of the BJP leadership toward the great leader”. “The construction of the statue by a foreign agency will continue to haunt the followers of Patel,” she added.

Mayawati said that Sardar Patel had a following all over the country and was respected by people cutting across caste and community, but dragging him into regional politics shows the “narrow-mindedness” of BJP leaders.

The BSP leader also said that if BJP leaders had regard for Patel, then the party, which has been ruling Gujarat for a long time, should have constructed the statue earlier.

First Published: Oct 31, 2018 21:33 IST