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Updated: November 12, 2009 18:49 IST

Mayawati defends construction of memorials

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati

Unfazed by ongoing cases in the Supreme Court on the memorial issue, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Thursday said the controversial memorial for B R Ambedkar and BSP founder Kanshi Ram being built here was a symbol of respect for the Dalit icons, who fought against injustice.

“Keeping in mind the sentiments of the people of western UP, a memorial is being constructed here as a mark of a respect for great leaders and saints who have fought throughout their lives against inequality and castism,” Ms. Mayawati said.

She also charged successive governments in the State with “ignoring” the contribution of such people.

The BSP chief was speaking to the media after inaugurating the extension of Delhi Metro service to Noida.

The Centre had recently told the Supreme Court that there was no need for environmental clearance for the controversial project of UP government for building memorials and statues of Dalit icons, including Chief Minister Mayawati, in a park in Noida.

The Centre had earlier opposed the Rs 650-crore project on environmental grounds.

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