My Statues Represent Will of the People, PIL Politically Motivated: Mayawati to Supreme Court
Submitting her affidavit in the Supreme Court, Mayawati said that when she was the CM, the state legislature sought to pay tribute to her for her tireless work for the welfare of Dalits.
BSP chief Mayawati has filed her affidavit in response to an observation made by a bench she should be asked to pay up for using public money spent on installation of her own statues. (File photo/PTI)
New Delhi: BSP supremo and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati has justified installation of her statues across many cities in the state, saying it represented the "will of the people".
Submitting her affidavit in the Supreme Court, Mayawati said that when she was the CM, the state legislature sought to pay tribute to her for her tireless work for the welfare of Dalits by getting her statues installed.
"The will of the people was expressed by the state legislature with a proposal to install the statues of the answering respondent at the memorials to show respect to the contemporary woman Dalit leader who has decided to sacrifice her life for the cause of the underprivileged communities," Mayawati's affidavit told the court.
It added: "Certainly, I could not go contrary to the wishes of the state legislators in installing my statues near the statue of Shri Kanshi Ram, for whom the nation has raised the demand for conferring Bharat Ratna posthumously."
Her statues, the leader said, came into being as the will of the state legislature to represent the will of the people.
Mayawati has filed her affidavit in response to an observation made by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi that she should be asked to pay up for using public money spent on installation of her own statues and of elephants, the BSP's party symbol.
The BSP leader termed the PIL in this regard as a politically motivated petition and said that the petition was a result of disgruntlement against the respect being shown to a Dalit woman leader.
About statues of elephants in various memorials across the state, Mayawati maintained that use of elephant was not to symbolise the BSP but was meant to be an architectural design and for ornamental purposes.
"It is incorrect and misleading to correlate the statues of elephants installed at the memorials with the symbol of the BSP. The elephants standing in the welcome posture are inalienable part of the Indian culture and no parallel can be drawn between the elephants and the party symbol," Mayawati told the court.
Her affidavit went on to cite Rashtrapati Bhavan, various Raj Bhavans, temples and other structures where 'elephants' were extensively used for art and architectural purposes.
She pointed out that there was a budgetary allocation made and an appropriation act passed to take out the money for construction of the memorials and the statues.
According to Mayawati's affidavit, a court cannot judicially review as to why the public money was spent on the memorials and not on something else such as hospitals and schools. Besides, she claimed that these memorials served as source of inspiration for the people
Mayawati also cited similar exercise carried out by Congress, BJP and other political parties in erecting statues of their leaders at the expense of public money.
She referred to statues of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat, statues of Y Rajasekhara in the undivided Andhra Pradesh, apart from clearance of proposals to install statues of Lord Ram in Ayodhya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's statue at Lok Bhavan in Lucknkw etc.
Mayawati contended that the petition, filed by advocate Ravi Kant in 2006, seeks to single her out due to political vendetta and deserved to be dismissed.
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