Akhilesh once criticised Mayawati for her statues, now goes soft on her
The Supreme Court said it was of the “tentative view” that Mayawati should reimburse the public money used for erecting statues of herself and of elephants, the party’s symbol, in Lucknow and Noida.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav, who in the past has lashed at BSP chief Mayawati for getting her statues erected with the state’s money, Friday went soft on his alliance partner after a scathing observation by the Supreme Court on the same issue.
“I don’t have full information about this. The court might have made some observations. BSP’s lawyers will put their side in the court,” he told reporters.
The apex court, earlier in the day, said it was of the “tentative view” that Mayawati should reimburse the public money used for erecting statues of herself and of elephants, the party’s symbol, in Lucknow and Noida.
The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party recently announced their alliance for Uttar Pradesh in the coming Lok Sabha elections, putting aside their once bitter rivalry.
Akhilesh Yadav had earlier termed the parks and memorials set up in the BSP regime a Rs 40,000-crore scam. But when questioned Friday on the apex court’s observations on BSP leader’s statues, Yadav attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party instead.
“A statue is going to be installed at the Lok Bhavan here,” he said, in an apparent reference to Yogi Adityanath government’s plan to put up a 25-foot statue of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The building houses the chief minister’s office in the state capital Lucknow.
“We will also install a statue of SP leader Ram Sharan Das there,” he added.
Yadav recently got support from Mayawati after reports that the Central Bureau of Investigation might quiz him in an alleged mining scam.
In 2012, Yadav had said, “The scam in building parks and memorials during Mayawati government was worth Rs 40,000 crore, taking into account the land used for parks and adding cost of the buildings which were constructed and later bulldozed for the parks.”Ahead of the 2012 assembly polls, SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav had promised to bulldoze the statues and memorials constructed during Mayawati’s term as chief minister.
However, when his son Akhilesh Yadav became the chief minister, he did not carry out the threat.
Instead, when SP supporters decapitated a Mayawati’s statue in Lucknow, Akhilesh Yadav got it replaced with a new one within 24 hours despite his father’s opposition.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has posted the matter for final hearing on April 2.
When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, the court said, “Ms Mayawati, pay all the money back. We are of the view that Mayawati should reimburse all the money she spent.”The bench is hearing a petition filed by an advocate who had contended that cannot be utilised for creating statues of one’s own and for propagating a political party.
The petitioner has alleged that hundreds of crores of rupees were used from the state’s budget for 2008-09 to glorify Mayawati, the then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)