Respond in 4 weeks on statue petition: SC to UP

PIL has sought CBI enquiry into misuse of state exchequer

Respond in 4 weeks on statue petition: SC to UP

Mayawati (L) and her statue

A petition by Supreme Court lawyer Ravi Kant claims that the state government has lavished about Rs 2,000 crore from the state coffers both in 2008-09 and 2009-10 over “false glorification” of Mayawati and her party symbol—the elephant.

The PIL has sought the apex court’s direction in restraining Mayawati from installing her statues and putting up her party symbol in public places at the state's expense. It has also asked for CBI enquiry into misuse of state exchequer.

A bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari said a show-cause notice has been issued to the state as to why the petition should not be admitted for hearing.

Kant has said about 5.81 crore people in the state were reeling below the poverty line, while the state indulged itself in the exercise of commissioning statues. He had also pointed out in the petition that the state suffers from inadequate school and hospital facilities.

Advocate Satish Mishra, who appeared for the UP government, noted that even  Tinmurti Bhawan in Delhi is located on an Rs 4,000 crore land. He argued that the Union government too has been spending money to install statues of prominent persons.

The BSP chief and UP Chief Minister has embroiled herself in controversy following the unveiling of 15 statues of her own and that of her party founder on June 25, nine days before the original date of unveiling.

This has been seen as an attempt to pre-empt any move by the apex court to prevent her from installing more statues. It is also thought that the Chief Minister wanted to upstage Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav who had called for a state-wide demonstration to protest the installation of the statues on July 3, along with memorials for Dalit icons and open parks.

‘Spending crores on statues shameful’

Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram has described as shameful Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati spending crores of rupees on installing her own statues, reports PTI from Manamadurai.

“She is spending Rs 1,000 crore on establishing statues of elephants and herself. Can there be something more shameful than this in the Indian politics,” he asked. “Of what use will be the statues in UP. The same amount could have helped wipe out poverty of thousands of people, provide basic amenities and education,” he said here on Sunday night.

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