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Supreme Court may order Mayawati to pay for statues depicting herself and BSP party symbol

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Supreme Court today (Friday, Feb 8) said it was of the “tentative view” that Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati should pay back to the public exchequer the money she spent on erecting statues of herself and her party’s symbol ‘elephant’ in public parks across Lucknow and Noida.

This comes on top of a probe by the Enforcement Directorate Mayawati is facing over alleged financial irregularities in the construction of parks and memorials commissioned during her stint as Uttar Pradesh chief minister from 2007-12.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi was hearing a petition filed by Supreme Court advocate Ravi Kant in 2009, alleging that crores of public money was spent by then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on these acts of self-aggrandisement. He contended that public money cannot be utilised for building own statues and for propagating a political party.

“We are of the tentative view that Mayawati has to deposit the public money spent on her statues and party symbol to the State exchequer,” said CJI Gogoi. The Bench, also comprising Justices Deepka Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna, made it clear the tentative view was expressed by it as the matter will take some time for hearing. “We will have it for final disposal on April 2,” the bench said.

Kant has alleged that about Rs 2,000 crore was used from the State budget for 2008-09 and 2009-10 to ‘falsely glorify’ the then CM. The petitioner has said the State government should be directed to remove the statues of Mayawati and her party symbol ‘elephant’ from public land.

“The said activity is being carried out as a State policy, which is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. Sixty statues of elephant were installed at a cost of Rs 52.20 crore at public places by utilising State funds,” the petition had alleged in 2009.

While it is unclear whether the court would ask Mayawati to be personally present in court for the proceedings or indeed order her to cough up the monies her government spent on construction of enormous, self-dedicated, memorials, the view expressed by the top court certainly comes as a major setback for the BSP chief ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Mayawati’s fourth stint as UP chief minister between 2007 and 2012 had been widely criticized for the huge amounts of public money her government spent on building parks and memorials in Lucknow, Noida and other parts of the state which were all decked up with massive statues of Dalit icons, BSP founder Kanshi Ram, Mayawati and elephants.

Several petitions had, at the time, challenged the construction of these parks and the extensive use of elephant statues were touted as violation of election commission rules as many saw them as Mayawati’s move to etch her party’s poll symbol strongly into public memory. However, since the elephant statues were not an exact replica of her poll symbol, Mayawati had got reprieve from various courts and the poll panel on their construction. She had also stoutly defended her bizarre decision of getting her own statues installed at these parks while her opponents sought to mock her by claiming that, in Indian tradition, statues of only the deceased are erected.

The BSP’s rout in the 2012 assembly polls was largely attributed to the electorate’s agony against the huge wastage of public money on these memorials, seen as a self-aggrandizing agenda. While it was speculated at the time that the Samajwadi Party government which came to power after Mayawati’s defeat would demolish her statues, then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had made it clear that he would let the statues stay since a huge amount of public money had already been spent on them.

With Mayawati and Akhilesh now joining hands to take on the common enemy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP, in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the two satraps from Uttar Pradesh are facing various probes for alleged irregularities that had occurred during their respective stints as chief minister.

In January, the Enforcement Directorate had raided half a dozen places in Lucknow in a bid to recover documents related to the construction of memorials by the Mayawati regime. The raids had come close on the heels on the CBI launching an inquiry into the alleged role of Akhilesh Yadav in illegal mining in Uttar Pradesh. Predictably, both Mayawati and Akhilesh had said that the raids were the result of political vendetta by the BJP.

The Enforcement Department has filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to investigate the alleged irregularities flagged by the state vigilance department in 2014 over construction of the memorials. The vigilance department complaint, prepared during the tenure of Akhilesh Yadav’s chief ministership, had claimed that Uttar Pradesh suffered losses of around Rs. 111 crore in the construction of Mayawati’s Dalit memorials between 2007 and 2012. As per one UP government estimate, the overall cost of building the memorials across the state was in the vicinity of a staggering Rs. 2,600 crore.

The UP Lokayukta had also indicted two cabinet colleagues of Mayawati – Nasmeedunin Siddiqui and Babu Singh Kushwaha – besides 12 of her party lawmakers for alleged “’wrong-doings”’ in the purchase of sandstone for the memorials.

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With the Supreme Court now indicating that it may ask Mayawati to personally cough up the money her government spent on the memorials, the BSP supremo may well be staring at a major crisis as her party’s financial muscle is known to be on a steady decline since she lost power in 2012. Faced with a political adversary like the BJP which has earned millions in political donations over the past four and half years of its rule at the Centre, Mayawati knows she needs a robust treasury to help her party’s candidates fight the upcoming polls. However, if a large chuck of her party’s wealth has to be deposited with the BJP-led UP government’s coffers, her Lok Sabha battle may be significantly dented.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

VIRAL: Elephant Jeymalyatha brutally beaten up by mahouts in Tamil Nadu, Peta India demands action

Reports said the elephant was tortured by mahouts at the Sribilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

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Elephant Jeymalyatha

In an animal-cruelty incident, an elephant named Jeymalyatha was brutally beaten up by mahouts in Tamil Nadu. The video of the incident is viral and has triggered massive outrage on social media.

Reports said the elephant was tortured by mahouts at the Sribilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

PETA India shared the video on Twitter and demanded stringent action against the mahouts. In the video, Jeymalyatha could be seen crying in pain as the mahouts continuously kept thrashing her with sticks. PETA India has sent an urgent appeal to the chief wildlife wardens of Assam and Tamil Nadu and demanded the enforcement of the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972, by filling a preliminary offence report under Section 51 against mahouts involved and under Section 48 against the Srivilliputhur Nachiyar Thirukovil temple.

The organisation also demanded to seize the abused elephant and rehabilitate her at a sanctuary.

Watch the viral video here:

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India News

Tickets? UP Police constables beat up TT on Gorakhdham Express in Kanpur | WATCH

The constables hit him on the head due to which his shirt was soaked in blood.

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UP Police constables beat up TT in Gorakhdham Express

In a shocking incident, the railway head TT was beaten up by two Uttar Pradesh police constables at Kanpur Central Railway Station. According to the reports, the constables were travelling without a ticket on a train from Gorakhpur to Bhatinda, and when the TT asked them to get off the train, they thrashed him fiercely. The incident took place at around 11:30 pm on the Gorakhdham Express on Tuesday.

TT Rambaran, who was on duty, took the train from Lucknow. On Twitter, Aditya Tiwari shared the video of TT narrating the whole incident. He said when he asked for the ticket, the constables said they would get down at Kanpur. After that, when he asked them to step down from the train at the Kanpur station, police constables beat him brutally.

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TT Rambaran also said the constables even tried to throw him off the train, but the passengers who were there on the train helped him save his life. The constables hit him on the head due to which his shirt was soaked in blood.

The victim lodged a complaint against the constables in GRP Kanpur. GRP inspector R.B. Dwivedi said they reached the spot as soon as they received information about the incident. He further said the FIR has been registered and the investigation is underway.

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Delhi news

No CNG sale in Delhi today, Dealers Association calls for protest; here’s why

The reason for the closure of CNG pumps is the non-reimbursement of the electricity bills by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL).

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CNG sale in Delhi

The Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) has announced that there will be no CNG sale in Delhi on August 10 from 6 am to 10 pm. The reason for the closure of CNG pumps is the non-reimbursement of the electricity bills by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL).

Delhi Association called for the protest as the reimbursement of the electricity bill of CNG pumps is not being done by IGL and is long overdue which has been causing them huge losses every day. The protest will affect about 250 CNG pumps in the capital.

In a letter last month, DPDA President Anurag Jain wrote, We have decided to go for no CNG sale on August 10 from 6 am to 10 pm as a mark of protest. He further said the DPDA is forced to take this step due to the reluctance shown by IGL to pay the actual electricity reimbursement of CNG facilities to the dealers of Delhi who are incurring huge financial losses every month.

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In Delhi, the electricity bill of the petrol pumps is paid by IGL, and CNG consumes a lot of electricity. DPDA says that IGL has not been paying the electricity bill for a long time, due to which they are suffering huge losses. And this is the reason the association has announced it will close CNG pumps today.

DPDA said there was a meeting organized with IGL in March 2022 to solve the issue, and IGL even agreed on the reimbursement of the electricity bill. After this meeting, the dealers were assured that the issue would be resolved in a month. DPDA said the issue has not been resolved yet and IGL didn’t fulfill its promise.

The non-fulfillment of DPDA’s demands has led them to take the step of closure of CNG pumps in Delhi on August 10. CNG is currently being sold at Rs 75.61 per kg in Delhi.

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