Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo, Mayawati, who celebrates her 62nd birthday on Monday, seems to have mellowed down the extravagance in the celebrations. Following the 2017 election defeat, where BSP had one of the worst performances, Mayawati seems to have decided to keep the affair low key. In fact, the meet-and-greet with Mayawati on her birthday which was earlier Rs. 1,00,000 has now come down to Rs. 50,000 as reported by DNA.
The report says that she again wishes to celebrate her birthday as ‘arthik sahyog divas’ (monetary support day) since even last year, the birthday was a quieter affair with model code of conduct already in place. Mayawati has earlier also been accused of using her birthday celebrations to raise money.
But Mayawati’s extravagance in celebrating her birthday is not new. In 2003, for her 47th birthday, Mayawati, laden with diamond jewellery, had a 51 kg birthday cake, 1,00,000 laddoos, 60 quintals of marigold flowers and around 5,000 bouquets, prices of which ranged from 1,000 to 5,000, were ordered in. In 2005, she refuted the allegation of using public funds for her extravagant birthday celebration as ‘anti-Dalit’ attitude.
The most outrageous, however, was the 2010 birthday celebration where the party workers allegedly gave her a currency garland made of Rs. 1,000 currency notes which was reportedly worth Rs. 25 crore.
As reported in DNA, ‘all the party sitting and former MPs, legislators, zonal coordinators, district presidents and other functionaries have been directed to bring minimum financial support of Rs 50,000 from at least 500 supporters each to fill the party coffers.’ Over and above that, each BSP leader is given a target to collect Rs. 25 lakh for party fund. The total target is to raise Rs. 75 – 100 crore on her birthday.