The Congress Monday lashed out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for seeking funds for implementing Right to Education Act in the state, calling her a stone-hearted 'murti-devi' (statue).
'Murtidevi Mayawati is saying like stone-hearted statues that there is no money for education of children,' Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters here.
'She has raised statues worth crores and is now raising a force for their protection... but she has no money to spend on education of children. This reflects the thinking of Murti-devi Mayawati who is anti-people, anti-children and against empowerment of people,' he added.
The Right to Education Act came into force April 1 and promises free and compulsory education up to Class 8 in the country.
Singhvi said: 'It's a political mindset that injects politics into welfare of Uttar Pradesh children.' Mayawati fears that if 'people become educated and start thinking properly, they would start questioning her decisions about constructing her own statues,' he added.
Singhvi said implementing the Right to Education countrywide would require Rs. 1.7 lakh crore in the first five years, of which 55 per cent would be provided by the central government and 45 per cent by states.
The state government is required to provide less than half of Rs.18,000 crore to implement it, he said, adding that of the 90 lakh to 95 lakh children out of school in the country, one-third are in Uttar Pradesh.
The act provides for education to students in the age group of 6-14 and specially focuses on bringing 8.1 million children of this age group back to classrooms.