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SC notice to Mayawati govt on statue issue
Published on 29 Jun. 2009 11:08 PM IST
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The Supreme Court on Monday issued showcause notice to the Mayawati-led Uttar Pradesh government for using money meant for the state’s development for installing statues of the chief minister and sought a reply on the matter in four weeks. A notice was also sent to chief minister Mayawati. “Notice (has been issued) to the state to showcause why the petition should not be admitted,” a bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Ganguli said, PTI reported. The petitioner Ravi Kant, a Supreme Court advocate, alleged that the total money used by Mayawati from the state budget for 2008-09 and 2009-10 for such projects was to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore to “falsely glorify” the chief minister. The court passed the order on a PIL seeking its direction to restrain Mayawati from installing her statues and party symbol at public places at the cost of public fund and demanded a CBI probe into the misuse of state exchequer. The court, after hearing the petitioner’s contentions, granted four weeks to the state government to file its reply. Last week, Mayawati had received much criticism from Opposition parties for unveiling statues and parks of Dalit leaders ahead of schedule, saying it was aimed at pre-empting the Supreme Court from putting these projects on hold. Mayawati had unveiled the 15 statues, which included that of BSP founder late Kanshi Ram and her own, and parks at a hurriedly-organised function on June 25, nine days ahead of schedule. HM slams Mayawati Slamming Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati for spending Rs 1,000 crore to install her own statues, Union home minister P Chidambaram has said the amount could have been used to provide basic amenities to the people and wipe out poverty. “Of what use will be the statues in that state. The Rs 1000 crore will help wipe out poverty of thousands of people, provide basic amenities and education,” he said, addressing a meeting to thank voters of his constituency Sivaganga last night. Pointing out that people all over the country had rejected caste politics, he said this was especially true in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, “where 20 years of caste domination has gone”. “People like Mulayam Singh Yadav who were practising caste politics were rejected, though he was my friend. People there thought beyond caste politics and elected Congress, which is above caste politics and works for the people.” Voicing concern over role of “casteism” in elections in parts of Sivaganga, he told people to go by government’s achievements, not by considerations like caste. He said caste based parties had been dealt a ‘death blow’ in Tamil Nadu. “Though I regret the alliance with caste based PMK earlier, the party faced a rout in the recent elections.” “If the Congress government did not achieve anything then you hit it with a Semmatti (hammer) during the poll. You debate on what we have achieved and then vote,” he said. Caption: STATUE! Sixty statues of the BSP symbol have been installed at a cost of Rs. 1000 crore.

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