Lucknow: BSP chief Mayawati on Monday distanced herself and the party from a controversial statement given by Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya in which he has asked people not to offer prayers to 'Gauri-Ganesh' at the beginning of any work.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister on Monday said in a statement that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has nothing to do with what Maurya has said. He has expressed his personal views.
"Our party (BSP) is principally against interfering in any religious belief and tradition," Mayawati said, adding her party believes in secularism.
Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded a clarification from the BSP chief on Maurya' statement, which he made Sunday at a event here.
"This statement would promote social divide and religious upheaval and should be condemned by all," Vijay Bahadur Pathak, BJP state spokesman, said.
Maurya was a minister in Mayawati's cabinet when she was the chief minister of the state. He is a very close aide of the BSP chief.