I-T department has stepped in to probe the source of the Rs 1,000 notes garland presented to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati at a rally on Monday.
The huge garland that Mayawati wore at a public rally caused the disruption of the Lok Sabha o Tuesday even as the estimated value of the currency notes of which it was made varied from Rs 21 lakhs to Rs 15 crore.
The department will probe the funding and ownership of currency notes, sources said.
The Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) supremo came under sharp attack inside and outside Parliament after the "multi crore" currency garland triggered an outrage fuelling demands by Opposition for a central probe into the source of money.
As Mayawati's rally to mark the Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) silver jubilee rocked the Lok Sabha which had to adjourned for the day several hours ahead of schedule, Congress said the Centre should look into the "organised loot" in Uttar Pradesh.
The Samajwadi party, which also backed Congress' demand for a central probe, has already demanded a CBI inquiry. BJP also backed the demand for a probe
After the BSP supremo came in the eye of a fresh controversy, Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh wryly said Mayawati is "no more a Dalit ke beti but Daulat ke beti"(no more a daughter of Dalit but a moneyed daughter), referring to the garland of 1,000 rupee currency notes presented to her.
"Mayawati is no longer the woman representing the common man. She is playing in lakhs and crores (of rupees)," he said.
"We appeal to the government to take cognizance of Mayawati's rally and the garland presented to her. It should be inquired into," he added.
BJP's Rajnath Singh said the state machinery has been misused by the ruling BSP for the lavish celebrations and it should be looked into.
Going on the defensive, BSP general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui rejected speculation that value of the notes in the garland ran into crores of rupees, saying it the money totalled only "Rs 21 lakhs".
"The talk of crores of rupees is not true," he said, adding that the garland was presented by Lucknow district BSP unit by contributing small amounts of money. The garland is in the custody of Mayawati, he said.
In the Lok Sabha, the SP and Congress members created ruckus since noon, forcing two adjournments till 2 PM. When similar scenes were witnessed again, Deputy Speaker Karia Munda adjourned the House for recess till April 12.
In the din after the Zeor Hour, Congress and SP members were heard saying the garland was estimated to be worth between Rs 10 crore and Rs 15 crore.
Coming to the defence of Mayawati, BSP MP Vijay Bahadur Singh said, "If I garland you then what is your mistake in it? People are ready to even sacrifice their lives for Mayawati, so what can we do about this? This is their dedication towards their leader," he said.