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Diamonds and singing babus

india Updated: Jan 16, 2008 03:39 IST
Vijay Sharma
Vijay Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Dressed in a Banarsi silk rust-orange salwar suit and a glittering diamond necklace, Chief Minister Mayawati cut a huge pineapple cake on her 52nd birthday at her palatial 5, Kalidas Marg residence while senior bureaucrats clapped and sang Happy Birthday to You — in unison.

The gigantic cake, wheeled in on a trolley, weighed 52kg to match Mayawati’s age. Soon after the cake-cutting, senior and beaming officers, including Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, Chief Secretary PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to the chief minister, Shailesh Krishna, Advisory Board chairman Satish Chandra Mishra, DGFP Vikram Singh fed her pieces and got themselves photographed with her. First to feed the cake was Satish Chandra Mishra.

There was chaos when photographers surrounded the trolley on which the cake was brought and almost all the senior officers of the Home Department had a tough time dispersing them for a clear view to TV cameras for live coverage of the ceremony.

At a similar function organised at the Samajwadi Party office to celebrate completion of two years in power during Mulayam Singh Yadav’s rule, senior bureaucrats, including the then chief secretary, had praised him and even recited poems in his honour. They had drawn flak from the media and the Election Commission took note of the bureaucrats’ proximity to the ruling party.

Replying to a question, Mayawati said her ‘brother’ Lalji Tandon and Samajwadi Party leaders must have called to congratulate her but she was not aware as she wasbusy.

Later, the CM condemned a few news channels, newspapers and her political rivals for defaming her by creating an impression that crores were being spent from the public exchequer on her birthday.

She claimed that BSP workers had paid for everything, including electricity charges for decoration of buildings, and Advisory Board chairman Satish Chandra Mishra had paid for the cake. She showed the original receipts to prove her point.

CM turns author

Mayawati — who recently turned an author — is determined to pursue her passion for writing. Releasing the third volume of her semi-autobiographical work, she announced her resolve to release one subsequent volume on each of her birthdays. The book Mere Sangharshmai Jeevan Avam BSP Movement Ka Safarnama (My life’s struggles and ongoing caravan of the BSP movement).