BSP: Why crores spent on Rajiv anniv ads?

Times of India, 23rd August 2009

A day after it won three of the four assembly by-elections, the BSP raised its ante in the Supreme Court on the controversy over exchequer-funded installation of statues of UP chief minister Mayawati.

Contending that BSP's performance has proved wrong the charge of anti-downtrodden and anti-poor levelled against the party by the PIL petitioners in the statue case, the party put a question to the apex court: would it entertain a similar petition questioning hundreds of crores of rupees central ministries spent on advertisements commemorating the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on August 20?

The BSP affidavit has a poser also for the PIL petitioners: why have they been quiet on the money spent on advertiesments on the birth and death anniversaries of Congress leaders?

If the policies of the Mayawati government were so anti-downtrodden and anti-development, how come the BSP could wrest three out of four legislature assembly seats from other parties in the recently held byelections? the party asked.

The double standard alleged by the party fits in well with its charge that it is being discriminated against and that the unfair treatment is a fallout of the prejudice against dalits.

It said: "All political parties have always propagated to capture public space and the monuments being built and statues erected by BSP followed the same principle so as to make the dalits link themselves to something in history."

Countering the suggestion in the PIL that the money spent on these monuments and statues could have been utilised for health care, education and other developmental work, the party said there are budgetary allocations specially earmarked for the purpose and did not eat into other allocations.



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