Looks like the troubles are not going to end anytime soon for Mayawati. The BSP supremo received a huge setback from the Supreme Court, as it has directed her to reimburse the public money, she spent on the construction of grandiose stone images during her tenure as the CM of Uttar Pradesh.
Supreme Court says prima facie BSP leader Mayawati has to pay back all the public money spent on statues while hearing a plea seeking direction to restrain her from spending public money on building statues. CJI Ranjan Gogoi says it would hear the plea on April 2. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/I6vWjTujfR
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 8, 2019
The Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi did not take kindly to the spending done on the statues by the BSP supremo from the public exchequer. To quote the CJI, “We primarily think Ms Mayawati should return this money she has spent from the public exchequer on statues, elephants.”
He further added, “Please come prepared on the next date of hearing. We are posting this on April 2. And you now know our tentative view.”
This prompted defense lawyer and BSP bigwig Satish Mishra to ask for another date in May since an adverse action against Mayawati could harm her prospects in the wake of 2019 elections.
However, the bench would have none of it. In their stern rebuke to Satish Mishra, they said, “No. We won’t defer it. Please don’t make us say anything more. We would want to say a lot more and but don’t make us. Come prepared on the next date.”
For those unaware, Mayawati had indulged on a statue building spree ever since she became the CM of UP in 2007. Instead of being known for any administrative prowess or her able work towards public welfare, Mayawati squandered millions of public money on statues and buildings in the name of herself, BSP founder Kanshiram and BR Ambedkar.
It was on this statue building spree that a vigilant citizen cum lawyer Ravi Kant filed a PIL against the same in 2009.
According to the PIL, spending over Rs 1,200 crore on statues was completely unjustified when UP has more than 50 million people below the poverty line, besides one of the lowest literacy rates in the country.
Ravi Kant also pointed out that these permanent structures also violated the model code of conduct which restrained such displays during the time of either assembly or general elections.
The vigilance FIR was filed in 2013 after the UP Lokayukta complained that the statue building spree had cost the state around Rs. 1400 crores. Despite the efforts of the then Mayawati government, the matter reached the Supreme Court, and now Mayawati has been given time until April to pay the dues.
This was not all. In another setback for the Yadav clan, the Supreme Court has denied any reprieve to Tejashwi Yadav and has asked him to vacate the government bungalow with immediate effect.
This spells deep trouble for the fledgling alliance between the SP and BSP since the Lokayukta had made the complaint with the approval of the then UP CM, Akhilesh Yadav. It would be interesting to see if the BSP supremo concedes defeat or wishes to earn notoriety like her newfound ‘nephew’, Akhilesh Yadav.