In a major blow to the Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayati, the Supreme Court on Friday has stated that Mayawati should deposit public money used for erecting statues of herself and elephants, the party’s symbol, at public places in Uttar Pradesh. The oral observation comes from the apex court which was hearing a petition filed in 2009 by an advocate. He had alleged that Rs 2000 crore was spent from the state budget for the year 2008-09 and 2009-10 by then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.
Reportedly, it was opposed that public money cannot be used for creating own statues and for propagating the political party. Earlier, in 2009, the court had issued a show cause notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and Mayawati for using the public money for installing her statues and party's symbol at parks in Lucknow and Noida. The apex court bench comprising of justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna reserved their judgement for final hearing on April 2. "We are of the tentative view that Mayawati has to deposit the public money spent on her statues and party symbol to the state exchequer," a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said. "We will have it for final disposal on April 2," the bench said.
The state government headed by Mayawati had built the memorials, statues and parks at a cost of over Rs 2,600 crore in Lucknow, Noida and few other places in Uttar Pradesh. The petition on the issue was filed by advocate Ravi Kant in 2009 and on Friday the matter came after quite a long time.