Statues represent will of elected representatives: Mayawati to SC
In reply to a PIL regarding statues of herself and elephants (Bahujan Samajwadi Party’s symbols) installed from taxpayers’ money, BSP supremo Mayawati has filed an affidavit in the Apex Court saying “statues represent will of elected representatives”. The statues were installed at several parks in Lucknow and Noida .The PIL was filed by an advocate in 2009 which says Rs 2,000 crore public money was used to build statues and symbols. The petition states that state budgets cannot be used to propagate agenda of any political party and that the installation of 60 elephant statues was Rs 52.20 crore which was not only wastage of public money but also contrary to the circulars issued by the Election Commission.
Justifying the expenses she said in the affidavit that the PIL is politically motivated and the statues were erected after proper budget allocation, discussions and completing procedures in the state assembly. The legislators wanted statues of Mayawati as an example of Dalit women’s struggle along with those of Kanshiram.
According to reports she added, “Elephants represent BSP and are also an architectural symbol used widely in Indian traditional architecture. The statues are a means to show admiration and support and other political parties also have statues of their leaders put up.” She further said that whether the money should have been spent on hospitals or education is a debatable question and cannot be decided by the court.
Earlier, in February, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had asked BSP chief to pay back all the money spent.