If all goes well, Uttar Pradesh will soon get a temple dedicated to Chief Minister and Dalit icon Mayawati, whose statues already dot the sprawling state.
The temple is proposed to be erected in the poverty-stricken Mahoba district in Bundelkhand, economically the most backward region in Uttar Pradesh.
It will come up in Natpura village, about 300 km from here.
“Of course, we are planning to install her idol in the temple that will come up on my private land,” Kanaihya Lal, a Mahoba-based lawyer, told IANS over telephone.
Lal is not a functionary of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) but a Dalit. He says he got provoked by the hue and cry over a garland of currency notes gifted to Mayawati on her birthday last month.
“If her critics take exception to a garland of currency notes, I wish to say that we are all set to build a temple where her followers will be free to offer such garlands every day,” he said.
He says: “Indira Gandhi was weighed in silver way back in the 70s in Mahoba. But no one found that outrageous. Just because (Mayawati) is a �Dalit ki beti’ (daughter of a Dalit), all hell seems to have broken loose.”
Local officials have told him that since the proposed idol in the temple would be that of a living person, it would be appropriate to obtain formal permission from the person.
“Under the circumstances, I will now move a request to the chief minister through the district BSP coordinator,” Lal said.