Mayawati defends building memorials after Supreme Court tells her to reimburse public money

A day after the Supreme Court observed that BSP supremo Mayawati should reimburse the public money spent on erecting statues of herself and the party symbol, the elephent, in public places during her tenure as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, today, she has strongly supported her action.

She took Twitter to defent building memorials and parks. She joined Twitter only last month. She said the memorials give a ‘grand identity’ to Dalits and ‘give regular income to government.’ She asked the media not to ‘distort’ the court’s oral observation .

The apex court’s observation came when it was hearing advocate Ravi Kant’s PIL alleging misuse of crores of rupees of public money spent for installing the statues, including in a park in Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi. The PIL was filed in 2009.

He has sought a restraint order against the installations, which Kant said was being done at the cost of the state exchequer. He also asked for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe and also a directive to remove the statues.

The statues in Noida and Lucknow were unveiled in March 4, 2012 after the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh which the BSP had lost. The statues were covered on January 11 that year on the orders of the then Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, after opposition parties complained that the elephants, made at the cost of public exchequer, gave an “unfair advantage” to the BSP which was then in power.

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