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BSP chief Mayawati justifies installation of her statues in UP, says it was the ‘will of the people’

In an earlier hearing, the Supreme Court had observed that Mayawati should reimburse the public money spent on erecting statues of herself and the party symbol, the elephant, in public places.

In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati has justified the construction of statues of herself and the party symbol-the elephant in public places claiming that it was the will of the people to install them, reports ANI.

According to the reports, Mayawati on Tuesday filed an affidavit in compliance with the latest order of the Supreme Court, which had stated that prima facie, it seems that BSP Chief Mayawati needs to pay back the money spent on erecting statues of herself and the party symbol, the elephant, in public places in Lucknow and Noida.

In her affidavit to the Supreme Court, Mayawati has stated that her statues built across Uttar Pradesh and those of other BSP leaders were built in public interest as a symbol of Dalit women’s struggle. The BSP chief also said there was a proper budgetary allocation to build the statues.

In an earlier hearing, the Supreme Court had observed that Mayawati should reimburse the public money spent on erecting statues of herself and the party symbol, the elephant, in public places.

“Madam Mayawati, reimburse to the exchequer the public money you have spent on the elephants. We are of the tentative view that you (Mayawati) should pay the public money from your pocket,” a bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.

The Supreme Court is hearing a 2009 petition against the construction of statues of Mayawati, Kanshi Ram and BSP symbol elephants, which were built at parks in Lucknow and Noida with taxpayers’ money when she was chief minister between 2007 and 2012.

Filed in 2009 by an advocate Ravi Kant, the PIL sought a restraint order against the installations as he had claimed that it was being done at the cost of the state exchequer. He asked for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe and also a directive to remove the statues.

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