Defiant Udit Raj to install Periyar statues in Uttar Pradesh

April 15th, 2008 - 6:49 pm ICT by admin  

Lucknow, April 15 (IANS) Unmindful of the police action against him, the Indian Justice Party (IJP) chief Udit Raj proposes to install statues of controversial dalit icon Ramaswamy Periyar. Talking to mediapersons here Tuesday, Raj pointedly blamed Chief Minister Mayawati for preventing him from eulogizing Periyar, whom he described as a “great social reformer”.

“It is a question of individual faith. The constitution gives everyone the right to worship or praise anyone. So, if people were free to put up idols of Ram or Sita, then we should also be allowed to install the statues of Periyar,” Udit Raj said.

A former Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer who quit as additional income tax commissioner to start a socio-political movement almost a decade ago, claimed that he was thrashed by the UP police after being taken into custody Monday for defying the Mayawati government’s diktat against installation of a Periyar statue in the state capital.

He was arrested along with 67 supporters for “breach of peace” after they attempted to storm the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state headquarter here Monday. The activists accused then BJP of defacing a hoarding put up in Lucknow with portraits of Periyar and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar.

“We will now put up statues of Periyar in each of the 70 districts of UP - let the government do whatever they can to stop us,” he said.

“Mayawati cannot digest the idea because she has forgotten her roots and was not only busy wooing the upper castes, but was also in league with the BJP,” he alleged.

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