Mayawati plans a pro-poor birthday bash
Deepak Gidwani / DNA
Thursday, January 14, 2010 0:04 IST
Lucknow: With her 54th birthday just two days away, Uttar Pradesh
chief minister Mayawati seems to be turning into a Good Samaritan.
The Dalit icon is preparing to dole out a lot of goodies to the poor
and needy on January 15.
Mayawati has announced that her birthday will be celebrated as "Jan
Kalyan Diwas" (public welfare day). Special camps would be organised
at all district headquarters. A senior official said the CM had
directed that the beneficiaries be chosen on the basis of economic
status, regardless of caste, though there are clear instructions that
50% of them should be from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
On her birthday, Mayawati would be giving out possession letters of
low-cost houses totally free of cost to one lakh below poverty line
(BPL) families under the Kanshi Ram Housing Scheme for the urban poor
in 61 districts.
Then there are battery-operated auto-rickshaws to be given out to the
poor and unemployed. Other goodies in CM's benevolent hamper include
bicycles and financial assistance for young girls from poor families.
Besides, Mayawati would also be laying foundation stones of numerous
projects running into hundreds of crores of rupees.
These include 6,300 km of roads, more than a hundred bridges,
bypass-building projects in towns with over one lakh population,
several flyovers and an Arabic-Persian university in Lucknow. State
government employees are also expecting the CM to release their
pending dearness allowance installment on her birthday.
Mayawati's previous birthdays have been marred by controversies over
collection of huge amounts of money and expensive gifts including
diamond-studded tiaras and gold and silver jewellery.
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