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Maya’s Rs.1000 note garland
Published on 16 Mar. 2010 12:50 AM IST
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It was a one woman show at the BSP rally marking the 76th birth anniversary of its founder Kanshi Ram today with Chief Minister Mayawati being presented a garland made of hundreds of Rs.1000 notes while other leaders were literally relegated to the background. Unlike previous occasions when the BSP supremo was greeted with bouquets, she was welcomed this time by a giant garland made of hundreds of Rs. 1000 notes by her ministers. Party spokesperson VN Sharma said it was a gift from all BSP state presidents to the party chief. The garland also attracted the attention of the crowd at Ramabai Ambedkar maidan as they could not make out from a distance that it was made of currency notes. Some were heard discussing about the “shining garland” and concluded that it could be made of some “imported flowers”. It led to a huge political uproar as all Opposition parties slammed the ‘show of wealth.’ “This is scandalous…the people of Uttar Pradesh will teach Mayawati a lesson when the appropriate time comes,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said in Delhi. Maya’s arch rival Mulayam Singh also criticised the garlanding. “A CBI probe should be ordered to find out the source of this wealth, the SP supreme said outside Lok Sabha. He was supported by BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy who expressed concern. Mayawati, who arrived at the venue on a helicopter amidst sloganeering by supporters led by senior ministers Naseemuddin Siddiqui and Lalji Verma, took the lone chair in the middle the dais, while all senior party leaders including the Assembly Speaker Sukhdev Rajbhar sat much behind her or were standing. Members of Bahujan Volunteer Force, assigned the task of controlling the cadres during such rallies, could not stop themselves from breaking into a jig during a cultural show at the event. Men and women donning blue danced enthusiastically to songs in praise of the BSP chief and she looked on. However, there were some anxious moments for party workers as some uninvited guests-- a swarm of insects-- arrived in front of the dais as Mayawati was addressing the rally but they soon disappeared without causing any harm. Though Mayawati brushed aside the incident jocularly, sources revealed the UP government has ordered a probe into the incident, saying someone may have intentionally burnt leaves to disturb the bees and hence the function. The BSP chief also flayed the opposition parties demanding withdrawal of elephant as BSP’s election symbol on the ground that its statues were installed at a large number of memorials and parks. “BSP’s election symbol elephant’s trunk is pointing towards ground, whereas statues of those installed in parks and memorials are in welcome posture with trunks pointing towards sky,” she explained. She said similar statues were already installed at various temples and religious places in the country and were part of the culture. “If this is the ground, then election symbol of SP and Congress should also be forfeited,” she demanded.

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