Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati will release the twelfth edition of ‘ A Travelogue of My Struggle Ridden Life and BSP Movement’ and a missionary calendar of the party at a programme on her 61st birthday on January 15.
The usual pomp and show of the birthday celebration will be missing this time as the party has decided to keep it a low key affair due to the implementation of the model code of conduct (MCC) after the announcement of assembly election schedule.
This time, Mayawati had directed the leaders to celebrate the occasion in the district unit office as well as public places in all the assembly constituencies. The leaders and workers will take pledge to ensure the victory of the party in the assembly election as the return gift, said an office bearer
In the past, her birthday bash happened to be a big occasion for the party workers. After a month long donation campaign, party and leaders would hand her a money bag as birthday gift . After cutting cake Mayawati would address the party leaders and workers. “This birthday there will be no such event,” said a BSP leader.
Talking to HT, BSP state unit president Ramachal Rajbhar said, “Due to the model code of conduct, the party cannot celebrate her birthday the way they did. We have decided to celebrate her birthday in all the 75 districts and 403 assembly segments, but in a simple manner.”
The BSP has been celebrating her birthday as ‘Jankalyankari Diwas’ after losing power in 2007 assembly elections, a day when the party leaders assist the needy, poor and the handicapped. They also visit Dalit hamlets and hospitals and distribute fruit and blankets among the poor people. “We will not visit hamlets or hospitals either,” said a senior leader.
A BSP leader said demonetisation had also played spoilsport. “Every birthday, the party used to launch massive fund raising campaign across the state. Each MP and MLA was given collection target . Crores used to be collected and handed to ‘behanji’. The money was used in the election campaign of the party,” he said.
Her past birthdays were also in news for wrong reasons. In 2010 when Mayawati was chief minister, there was a controversy over gift of a cash garland worth Rs 25 crore by party leaders. Earlier, the murder of PWD executive engineer Manoj Kumar Gupta in 2008 in Auraiya allegedly by BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari during a donation campaign also generated controversy.