Mayawati to put up more of her statues

August 7th, 2008 - 12:35 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Lucknow, Aug 7 (IANS) Undaunted by all the criticism from her adversaries, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is to get three more of her statues installed in the state capital where two imposing bronze memorials are already in place. An 18-feet-tall statue is proposed in the neighbourhood of BSP’s Prerna Sthal (inspiration home) where Mayawati had got her first statue installed inside an imposing stone structure shaped like a Buddhist stupa.

The space for the statue was created after demolition of BSP’s own office that was built barely four years ago on a 50,000 sq ft plot just behind the state governor’s house.

The statue will adorn what has been christened Bahujan Nayak Park, being laid in place of the party’s state headquarter, that has been shifted to a brand new building erected over the debris of a government bungalow.

An identical statue is planned for Kanshi Ram Memorial that was coming up on a sprawling 32-acre plot of land taken from the Lucknow district jail. The memorial is slated to cost the state exchequer about Rs.3.5 billion.

The third statue is likely to find place at a prominent spot in Mayawati’s first ever dream project - Ambedkar Park cum Memorial that was being built on a giant scale at a cost of nearly Rs.5 billion.

Officials dealing with the statue projects were tight-lipped.

However sculptor Ram Sutar, who has been assigned to create the three statues in bronze, admitted that he was on the job and had been asked to accomplish the task at speed.

“I have assured the administration I’ll complete the statues in record time”, he told IANS.

While none was willing to divulge the cost of these statues officially, it is said that each will weigh between 20 and 25 tonnes.

Mayawati justified her decision to install her first statue at the Prerna Sthal, saying: “I always felt that memorials should be built during the lifetime of icons.

‚ÄúThat is why I got the first statue of my mentor Kanshi Ram installed in Lucknow during his lifetime. But because he wished that I should also have my own statue next to his, I decided to put mine too.”

The same explanation was repeated when she unveiled her own statue along with that of her mentor Kanshi Ram last June.

Mayawati’s arch adversary Mulayam Singh Yadav had not only condemned her fad for installing her own statues but also threatened to get these bulldozed once he came to power.

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