30 Jun 2009, 0106 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN

NEW DELHI: In what could trip UP chief minister Mayawati’s plans to construct grandiose stone images of herself, BSP founder Kanshi Ram and Dalit icon B R Ambedkar, the Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the leader on a PIL alleging a massive waste of public money. The Supreme Court has indicated that it might have some tough questions for the Mayawati government even as the BSP leader’s aide Satish Mishra, who also pleaded her case in court, hit back claiming that monuments and memorials to upper caste leaders never seemed to generate the same concern and outrage. The BSP argued that the developmental work of the Mayawati government never attracted any attention while the monuments were selectively highlighted. The BSP’s accusation of a political agenda and bias did not deter the SC from asking for some responses while it explained that it was not passing any sort of interim order. With the PIL arguing that public funds could be better utilised to help UP’s poor, the SC seemed to pose a “Why the fetish for your own statues” query for the Mayawati government with a Bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Ganguly quoting from the petition filed by PIL by advocates Ravi Kant and Sukumar.

The PIL alleges that spending over Rs 1,200 crore on statues was irresponsible when UP had the largest population — 59 million — of people below the poverty line. Not surprisingly, the SC notices left the Mayawati government bristling. Appearing for the state, Mishra tried to convince the Bench that the PIL was politically motivated. He even objected to a large portion of the petitioner’s allegations being quoted in the order. When the Bench appeared unimpressed, Mishra gave vent to the anguish of the Mayawati government and said memorials for other leaders seldom raised an eyebrow, except when they were meant for a Dalit icon. He sought to buttress his argument by citing the example of the sprawling Teen Murti Bhawan in Delhi, which is a memorial for the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. “We would like the court also to focus on larger issues like Teen Murti Bhawan which at present would be worth more than Rs 3,000 crore. It hurts when no one questions such memorials.

But, if a memorial for Dr Ambedkar is built, then objections are raised,” he said after the court issued notices. Earlier, senior advocate U U Lalit said the PIL petitioners had no connection with UP and that all the expenditure on the statues and renovation of parks had been duly sanctioned by the assembly and that nothing was being done without proper sanction. When the court said it has not issued any interim order but was merely seeking response of the state government, Mishra said: “We will bring all the larger issues before the court and it should deal with them.” Given the tone and tenor of the arguments, the Mayawati government is sure to list out the number of memorials for upper caste leaders and draw a contrast with the smaller numbers dedicated to Dalit leaders. Mishra also told TOI that huge amounts were being spent by the Mayawati government for the upliftment of the poor, building schools and hospitals besides social upliftment schemes for oppressed class.

“The media highlights only the memorials built to honour Dalit leaders and ignores the developmental work of the Mayawati government,” he said. Petitioner Ravi Kant, who collated information using the RTI provisions, told the court how massive money was spent on erecting statues of Mayawati and Kanshi Ram in various parks of Lucknow — Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal, Manyawar Kanshi Ram Memorial at Alambag, Kanshi Ram Bahujan Nayak Park, Ramabai Ambedkar Rally Maidan, Kanshiram Sanskritik Sthal, Dr Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Prateek Sthal, Manywar Kanshiram Yaadgar Vishram Sthal, Buddha Sthal, Eco Park, Samata Mulak Churaha and Dr Ambedkar Chauraha, Buddha Shanti Upwan and Prerna Sthal. The petition said all these extravagance was happening when UP had the dubious distinction of having the lowest literacty rate of 56.27%, the highest maternal and neo-natal mortality rate, largest child labour force, largest number of people living below the poverty line and only 59% of villages (56,977 of 97,122) electrified. The petitioners also said that the erection of statues of Mayawati and those of elephants violated the Election Commission’s model code of conduct which prohibited display of even pictures of political leaders contesting elections. On the contrary, the Mayawati government was busy installing statues of the chief minister and the party symbol — elephant — all over the state, they said.

A Venkatakrishnan,PUNE,says:SC’s show-cause notice to Mayawati Govt on spending of public money for installation of statues, is a right decision in the right direction. How far this Govt’s Attorney General (on the advice of Chief Secretary)reply to this notice is going to justify their expenditure. Very known facts are reflecting the media. The govt’s machinery should be taken to task. Otherwise, there is no control on the scam of financial matters deal with by the State Govts. There is no money for development. All the people of this state have been migrating to other states for livelihood, in the form of carpenters/coconut sellers,etc. How Rahul Gandhi is going to improve this state. The Chief Minister of UP should be asked to pack up and do some other useful work for this state.

[29 Jun, 2009 1711hrs IST]

A Venkatakrishnan,PUNE,says:SC’s show-cause notice to Mayawati Govt on spending of public money for installation of statues, is a right decision in the right direction. How far this Govt’s Attorney General (on the advice of Chief Secretary)reply to this notice is going to justify their expenditure. Very known facts are reflecting the media. The govt’s machinery should be taken to task. Otherwise, there is no control on the scam of financial matters deal with by the State Govts. There is no money for development. All the people of this state have been migrating to other states for livelihood, in the form of carpenters/coconut sellers,etc. How Rahul Gandhi is going to improve this state. The Chief Minister of UP should be asked to pack up and do some other useful work for this state.

[29 Jun, 2009 1708hrs IST]

murli,dubai,says:My god if she become PM then what will be the situation and where all she will keep her statue ?? i think central govt. should dismiss this UP govt and put in president rule there and let SC start trial for this shameless act of our beloved daughter of dalit.
[29 Jun, 2009 1705hrs IST

alok,patna,says:Atlast, the SC has come to the mercy of the aam junta, but a bit late. Miss Mayawati, do you have any idea what 1000 crore means? The people who have voted for you, most of them don’t even get to earn Rs 50 daily. How can you be so shameless to splurge so much money for your own personal goals no matter however rubbish they are? Do something for the people. Statues don’t serve any purpose for the hungry. Stop this nonsense!!!!

[29 Jun, 2009 1704hrs IST]

rubs,pune,says:irony..people are dying out of huger..and she want’s statues…
[29 Jun, 2009 1702hrs IST]

Jose,Kerala,says:The SC order is welcomed. Political leaders (can we call her a leader ??? ) like Mayvati is the hurdles in the country’s progress. She is not some one whose statue will tell the next generation about truth,courage, patriotism and leadership. WE DONT NEED MAYA STATUES, let her keep it inside her house for her guests to see. We need leaders whose work will ensure that they are remembered by generations.
[29 Jun, 2009 1657hrs IST]

Siddhartha,London,says:To some of you brothers and sisters who contributed to these comments. There is no shame on Mayavati. She is quite shameless. She has made her money and her statues. There is very little SC can do now since the act is done and the money spent. Shame should be put on everybody who allowed this to happen for so long. Shame should be on the Central Govt., the judicial system and the so-called intellectuals who presided in private and allowed this to happen. Shame is it on the Naxals (Maoist) who did not bring rough and swift justice to this person and her entourage, but instead are making the life of the common downtrodden a Hell on Earth. Shame to us to let matters slip for 62 years after independance. It is a country no different from all the countries which had dictators like Marcos and Saddam. Please let us not only hang our heads in shame but also vow that we will not this happen again. Jai Hind my brothers and sisters.
[29 Jun, 2009 1652hrs IST]

Manisha Amitabha,Lucknow,says:It is really shocking that such illterate,self centered politicians manage to get elected year on year and actually waste the public money on glorifying themselves.Only wish this money was spent on providing basic amenties of water and electricity which sadly is not available to a majority in lucknow.Everyday is a struggle as one hopes there would be enough water and less power cuts.It is difficult to believe that the govt at the centre had no clue of the project whatsoever and all this while waited for the money to be wasted and then question .Why wasnt this checked before and why isnt there a mechanism to check such outrageous misuse of public funds?
[29 Jun, 2009 1650hrs IST]

Manish,Hyderabad,says:We should have a policy to hang out such kind of person…

[29 Jun, 2009 1650hrs IST]

Hindupur Rajagopalan,Mississauga, Ontario, Canada,says:If Mayavathi wants to be recognised as the champion of the downtrodden, this is the wrong way to do it. She should create educational and health facilities to the poor. This will definitely have better effect than thousands of statues. Her ego will not get her anywhere.
[29 Jun, 2009 1649hrs IST]

Sashi,Hyderabad,says:Clearly obnoxious. Ironically, not less than few months ago, the same character was projected as ‘PM Hopeful’ by the media. God forbids, if that happens, she would have installed a ‘Statue of Maya’ in the very center of Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad. Can anybody suggest a better place than this?
[29 Jun, 2009 1647hrs IST]

Ajay Bhutani,Canada,says:Mayawati must be under the impression that she looks like Venus…..

[29 Jun, 2009 1644hrs IST]

A Kumar,Newyork,US,says:Like the saddam’s statue pulled down and hit with shoes after the US invation in Iraq, her statues will meet the same treatment by the voters after the next state elections.
[29 Jun, 2009 1640hrs IST]

Varun,USA,says:Mayawati should be hanged in public in one of those parks…
[29 Jun, 2009 1639hrs IST]

Akhtar Javed Usmani,Khongapani,Koreya,Chhattisgarh,says:The Supreme Court notice to U P goverment shows the stealth and spine of state bureaucracy. They made proposals on the whims of the leader of the time, leaders sanctioned it and statue came out. What Judiciary can do now, order its demolation. Further losses to exchequer.It will also became parallel to Mulayam Singh idea of the amends. So what are criterion, for statues. Is any rule not have statue of one’s own. This is not first time in U P that statues of Idols of living leader has stalled. Few judges hailed from the U P High Court at that time has not given the isue any importance. No one come forward to file appeals. So this time idol show cost is of 1000 Karors. The contractor to collector every one is in for it. So what goes to others if more idols will be erected, is the lead theame. This has raised a very big question before country and if replied logically reasonably and properly than discreationery powers limit and scope may came in to check and if not we have to watch more such shows in same theams. What is remady now, how to stop these waste full extravegence, before it started? What about the expenditure already made? Is it recoverable or some suspensions and transfers will return money to treasury. It will be facinating to see how this notices concluded to any logical end.

[29 Jun, 2009 1637hrs IST]

sandeep,lucknow,says:what a great day for two state of new India Maharastra and Uttar pradesh one state unveil sea link for public conveyance (1650cr) the other got a notice from supreme court for spending 3000cr on parks and statues which will be of no use,it will only be a remainder of all the waste this government has done . India is a country filled with diversity.It is the time to think people and we need the option where we can choose presidential rule or not to give our vote to any leader.

[29 Jun, 2009 1636hrs IST]

amitg,delhi,says:Finally it the Supreme Court that has awoken to the nonsense that Mayawati is indulging in . The Central Govt. should ensure that in future Mayawati or any leader in this country for that matter doesnot squander away public money in activities like erecting statues , holding lavish birthday parties or spending unreasonable amounts of money on the wedding functions of their children . Is there no provision in the Constitution of this country or does the Central goovernment have no powers to question and check leaders like Mayawati who indulge in such blatant waste of money for their self glorification . Why did the central government not question Mayawati on the erection of statues and dalit memorials at exorbitant costs ? Why does it require a PIL in the Supreme court to question these acts . On one hand the state of UP reels under unreasonable power cuts and power shortage and on the other hand hundreds of crores are spent in the glorification of leaders who only crave for their name and fame and money .
[29 Jun, 2009 1635hrs IST]

Amit,Ranchi,says:Its very good SC issued notice against Mayawati. But we should also be aware of all these issues. Every minister should be account for every penny of people.

[29 Jun, 2009 1633hrs IST]

Anil,Mumbai,says:Why is Chidambaram blaming Mayawati. Blame it on the Constitution that allows such things to happen. Still we rever the Constitution; he holy cow. There will continue to be people in power to subvert it and we shall be looking like fools in the name of federalism, constitutionalism, centre/state relations blah blah blah. We need another constituent assembly to draw up a constitution that meets our aspirations. What is the use of crying hoarese at Shivganga?
[29 Jun, 2009 1630hrs IST]

P.R.Koduri,Chicago,says:The readers of TOI may be interested to know that in the entire historic city of Cairy (Egypt) there are only two public statues: one for a soldier (a General I believe) who must have distinguished on the battle field, and a second, for a Poet! Statues of Nasser or Sadat can still be found in their National Museum! Apart from the fancy for statues, most statues in public spaces in India show an utter lack of artistic or esthetic value.

[29 Jun, 2009 1628hrs IST]

msn,india,says:Let her die first, later someone will errect her statue, in some slum.

[29 Jun, 2009 1623hrs IST]

TrueKanshiRam,Bangalore,says:Well Wh doesn’t she put up her statues near bar’s,she’s fit for that only, pretending the queen of UP, she’s like a cabare dancer,who wants false fame.Kick her out of India.
[29 Jun, 2009 1619hrs IST]

M. Y. Imran,Oman,says:This women and unfortunate Chief Minister of UP must be punished and made accountable for using such a huge public money for statues of Kanshi Ram, herself and hundreds of Elephants. Instead she should have concentrated on completion of various projects that could have been beneficial for the poor people. What a shame? The Supreme Court must take action and order immediate demolition of such unwanted statues.
[29 Jun, 2009 1614hrs IST]

Vivek,Noida,says:Mayawati’s politics is worst form of democracy. If ever someone will count negatives of democracy Maya’s karma will be quoted. Now our experience suggests despite Sc’s interest nothing will happen .. this is a democracy and will have to live with the fact that the chief minister was least interested in power reforms in a state where average person is getting 7-8 hrs of electricity and that also in parts.. Now as she has established herself as ‘DEVI’ UPites go and pray to her statue for power .. roads.. .. just whatever you want … and if you get nothing don’t complain .. some people have this same complain about well established Gods.
[29 Jun, 2009 1610hrs IST]

raj ,hyd ,says:see lots of money is wated on this things Instead if this money was being used for afforestation or helping poor,or educating small children it would have been better
[29 Jun, 2009 1608hrs IST]

NIRANJAN,VADODARA,says:THIS SUBJECT OF MAYAWATI BUILDING STATUES AND MONUMENTS HAS BEEN IN THE MEDIA FOR QUITE SOME TIME. IS THE CENTRAL GOVT. JUST TAKING NOTICE OF IT NOW? THEY MUST BE REALLY TO BUSY WITH OTHER STUFF NOT TO NOTICE SUCH A GLARING MISUSE OF STATE FUNDS BY A CM. I HOPE AND WISH THAT CENTRAL GOVT. IS MORE VIGILANT ABOUT THE ACTIVITIES OF SUCH MEGALOMANIAC CMs IN FUTURE.
[29 Jun, 2009 1602hrs IST]

Syed Athif Imran,Makkah,says:What a shameful act, she should be held responsible, and should be prosecuted for this act. shame on her, and Indian judiciary should come forward. what a shame, in a country when millions are going hungry.

[29 Jun, 2009 1602hrs IST]

Vijay,Bangalore,says:Mayawati — Stupidity Personified
[29 Jun, 2009 1557hrs IST]

sb,delhi,says:good that central givt is showing concerns. but where was it when the news was afloat of Maywati such plans….it could have been scrapped in the middle at least…why did the authoties wait until it was inaugurated?
[29 Jun, 2009 1554hrs IST]

Nitin Jain,Noida,says:It is good that SC issue notice to Mayawati govt, but it is late. Mayawati is more clever and has done her work.
[29 Jun, 2009 1551hrs IST]

Pankaj Garg,Noida,says:SC/Central Govt should recommend Governor to sack the corrupt Mayawati Govt. It also looks looks like her any close relative is associated with Stone business. Mayawati is doing same kind of thing in Noida, spending crores of rupees in development of a park, and destroting the whole greent belt. Maywati also had one house in sector-44 , that is made again with red stone. Please sack her Govt….
[29 Jun, 2009 1551hrs IST]

PRIYANKA ANAND,GHAZIABAD,says:ALL THE MONEY THAT IS BEING SPENT LAVISHLY ON UNVEILING STATUES IS UTTER NON SENSE AND SHAME ON UP GOVT. DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE IS NOT IN PLACE GOVT. IS SPENDING MONEY WHICH IS OF ABSOLUTELY NO USE. GOVT. SHOULD SPEND ON THE BASIC PROBLEMS LIKE ROADS, ELECTRICITY,WHICH THE STATE IS FACING. PEOPLE IN THE STATE ARE WITHOUT ELECTRICITY FOR 18 HOURS OUT OF 24 HOURS. AND THIS IS NOT A ONE DAY STORY IT IS A DAILY ROUTINE. I THINK MAYAWATI SHOULD THINK OF THE STATE AND ITS PEOPLE, THEIR PLIGHT RATHER THAN SPENDING ON UNVEILING STATUES HERE AND THERE FOR NO REASON AND ULTIMATELY WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO SUFFER.
[29 Jun, 2009 1549hrs IST]

Swati,Pune,says:This act is result of being neither democratic nor undemocratic. Anybody can do anything. nobody can do nothing. Its upto the conscience of the doer to do the right or wrong. who wrote this constitution and who approved it to leave us nowhere, with no power to control if things go wrong.

[29 Jun, 2009 1545hrs IST]

Mukesh K.,Gurgaon,says:God save our country from politicians who indulge in megalomania. For a developing country such as ours, it is indeed shameful that Mayawati has wasted precious public resources. I think the civil society including press, should condemn this unjust action an the courts should prevent public money being wasted in such a manner.
[29 Jun, 2009 1543hrs IST]

Mukesh K.,Gurgaon,says:God save our country from politicians who indulge in megalomania. For a developing country such as ours, it is indeed shameful that Mayawati has wasted precious public resources. I think the civil society including press, should condemn this unjust action an the courts should prevent public money being wasted in such a manner.
[29 Jun, 2009 1543hrs IST]

S.y Shameem,Dubai UAE.,says:Did Mayathi promised to the people who voted for her party to build worthless statues of elephants and herself.Come on Mayavathi do something good so the poor people of UP remember you for long.Do not waste the valuable money on worthless things.As an indian i request you to do good and do not MIS use your power provided by the poor masses of UP.Hope you will do good and become a good politician.OTHER WISE YOU KNOW THE RESULT.
[29 Jun, 2009 1542hrs IST]

ABC,India,says:BRAVO Mr. P. Chidambaram..!! Great sir, people like this should be thrown out of the govt. Thanx for this action….it was much awaited.
[29 Jun, 2009 1539hrs IST]

Gaurav,Gurgaon,says:Oh God Almighty. I with all my faith in you, I only plead for some sanity for this woman. I know you made a blunder in creating her and sending her to earth, but you can still correct your mistake by making her a normal human being. Please God, give her the ability to think logical or make us all illogical or insane.
[29 Jun, 2009 1538hrs IST]

kb,Pune,says:Mayavati issue is really disgusting. Govt is woke up after unveiling these statues. What were they doing while these statues were in process of construction. Wrong use of public funds as well. Its really shamefull for India2020 mission.

[29 Jun, 2009 1528hrs IST]

Ashish,Bangalore,says:wonder when Maoists can ambush cops and “rich” guys, whom they hold responsible for their miserable state, and kill them, don’t take any action against self serving leaders such as Mayawati. As PC rightly mentioned 1000 crore could had been put to better use such as rain water harvesting to provide drinking water and for irrigation.

[29 Jun, 2009 1524hrs IST]

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