BSP president Mayawati on Tuesday termed the laying of the foundation for Ambedkar cultural centre here a pre-poll act of "deceit" and "deception" by the BJP government to serve its electoral interest.
Had it been not a "deceit", "deception" and "drama" before the 2022 assembly polls, "the President would have been inaugurating the centre and not laying the foundation stone" for it, said Mayawati.
Reacting to Mayawati's allegations, UP Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya told reporters that the BSP supremo should feel happy that by the efforts of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the foundation of the Ambedkar cultural centre was laid today.
The BSP supremo sought to undermine the Yogi Adityanath government's move asserting that his government is no different than the previous ones of Akhilesh Yadav and the Congress in denying the rights of Dalits and backward class people.
Mayawati made the allegation in a series of tweets soon after President Ram Nath Kovind laid the foundation stone for the memorial to be after Dalit icon Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, which is to come up on a sprawling plot of nearly 5,500 sq metre land in the state capital.
The memorial will also have a 25-ft high statue of Dr Ambedkar. The present cost of the project is estimated to be over Rs 45 crore.
"The laying of the foundation of a cultural centre in the name of Baba Saheb now when the assembly elections are nearing -- what is it, if not a drama, after neglecting crores of Baba Saheb's followers for almost the entire period they have been in power?" asked Mayawati.
In a related tweet, she said "the BSP is not against setting up of any centre in the name of highly venerable Baba Saheb, but doing all this now for the sake of electoral interest is a gross deception," she said.
"Had the UP government done this work earlier, the President would have been inaugurating the centre and not laying the foundation stone," she added.
While targeting the Yogi Adityanath government, Mayawati did not spare the previous Samajwadi Party or the Congress governments either.
"By the way, in resorting to such deceit and drama, no one is any less than the other -- whether it be the BJP government or that of the SP or the Congress," she said.
"In crushing the rights of Dalits and backwards and heaping injustice and atrocities on them, they all are the same -- this is known to all and very unfortunate," she asserted.
"As a result, lakhs of government posts reserved for Dalits and backward classes people are lying vacant," she said.
She also lamented that "the world-class grand buildings and parks built by the BSP government in the name of their saints, gurus and great men in UP have been grossly neglected since the previous SP regime took over and the situation continues under the BJP government."
This trend is commendable, she added.
Reacting to Mayawati's allegations, Labour Minister Maurya told reporters, "Mayawati is the national president of Bahujan Samaj Party, which was formed as a part of Dr B R Ambedkar's mission. She should feel happy that by the efforts of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the foundation of the Ambedkar cultural centre was laid today."
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given respect to Baba Saheb by developing five memorials in form of pilgrimage spots in places associated with Baba Saheb," the minister said.
"These five spots are in Ambedkar's birthplace in Mhow, Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, Parinirvaan Sthal in Delhi, Chaitanya Bhoomi in Mumbai and Ambedkar Memorial Home in London," Mr Maurya said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)