The Bharatiya Janata Party will not replace the razed statue of communist icon Lenin in Tripura with a new one as it does not believe in building statues, party leader Sunil Deodhar said on Monday. But at the same press meet, Deodhar said the BJP government will build a statue of the last king of the princely state of Tripura.

Deodhar led the party to its first victory in Tripura in the Assembly elections held in February. Soon after the election results were declared, Lenin’s statue in Tripura’s Belonia town was brought down by suspected BJP supporters.

Speaking to reporters in Pune on Monday, Deodhar condemned the razing and said “this is not our culture”, The Indian Express reported.

“The BJP is more concerned about those alive than statues and wants to promote the development agenda in the state,” Deodhar said, according to The Times of India.

Contrary to his claim, the BJP-led governments in Maharashtra, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have announced plans in recent years to build statues of personalities ranging from freedom fighter Vallabhbhai Patel to Hindu deity Ram.

“We will build only one statue in Tripura, and it will be of Maharaj Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur,” Deodhar said. “It will be installed at the Agartala airport.”

The last king of the princely state had built the Agartala airport in 1942. The newly elected state government has said it will rename the airport after him.

‘Will restrict enrolment to party’

Deodhar also said the BJP will restrict enrolment of new party workers in Tripura for six months to prevent people with criminal records from coming in, PTI reported.

“Several communist cadres have minted money through various government schemes,” he said. “After the regime change, these activities will stop, and since they cannot survive without power, they will try to join the BJP. Therefore, we have decided to not give new membership for the next six months.”