New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court justifying expenses in the installation of her own statues and those of elephants in Uttar Pradesh.
In her affidavit Mayawati has stated, “It was the will of the people,” reported ANI. She said that memorials were intended to promote values and ideals of social reformers and not to promote the symbol of BSP.
She said the funds for construction of memorials were sanctioned through budgetary allocations and approval of the state legislature.
Mayawati seeks dismissal of plea which alleged public funds were misused in construction of memorials, says it is “politically motivated”.
The affidavit comes in compliance with the last order of the Supreme Court asking her that prima facie, it seemed that she needed to pay back the money as she had spent a lot of public money on installation of many statutes of herself and elephants in UP.
During the last hearing in February, the Supreme Court had asked the BSP supremo to pay back all the public money spent on erecting her statues and those of elephants – the party symbol – at parks in Lucknow and Noida.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna, was hearing a petition filed by an advocate who had contended that public money cannot be utilised for creating own statues and for propagating the political party.
“We are of the tentative view that Mayawati has to deposit the public money spent on her statues and those of the party symbol to the state exchequer,” the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.
While Mayawati has faced flak from her political rivals, it is interesting to note that the SP has now gone soft on her, considering their alliance for the coming elections.
After the earlier hearing where the apex court had said it seemed Mayawati needed to pay back, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had said, “I don’t have full information about this. The court might have made some observations. BSP’s lawyers will put their side in the court.”
Earlier, Akhilesh had termed the parks and memorials set up in the BSP regime a Rs 40,000-crore scam.