The Bharatiya Janata Party has distanced itself from the Pilibhit MP, Varun Gandhi's comment that if the party came to power after the 2102 ssembly polls, statues of Lord Rama would replace those of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati. Mr. Gandhi had made this statement in Lucknow on Wednesday.

The newly-appointed president of the State unit of the BJP, Surya Pratap Shahi, said here on Thursday that his party believed in the rule of law and Constitution. Mr. Shahi said Mr. Gandhi had only made a suggestion. Referring to Vinay Katiyar's statement that Lord Rama's statues will not be erected by displacing those of others, Mr. Shahi said the BJP vice-president has already given his opinion on Mr. Gandhi's comment.

Mr. Shahi, who took charge of his new appointment on Wednesday, told reporters here on Thursday that the BJP was committed to taking up the people's cause and would establish mass contact before the 2012 elections. Outlining the agenda, he said the foremost task before him was strengthening the party organisation.

Attacking the Mayawati Government, he said that the biggest achievement in its three-year rule has been the entry of mafia and criminals in the Ministry. He assailed the BSP Government for spending about Rs. 10,000 crore on parks and statues and said that nothing had been for ameliorating the sufferings of the people. Mr. Shahi accused the BSP and the Samajwadi Party of working in tandem with the Congress and the UPA Government and blamed them for the problems plaguing the common man.

He blamed the Congress, BSP and the SP for spreading communalism in the name of secularism by pursuing vote bank politics. He added that the Congress-led UPA Government lacked the political will to counter terrorism and Naxalite activities.

Keywords: BJPVarun GandhiMayawati