Tuesday, March 16, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Mayawati garland had only Rs.21 lakh: BSP minister


Mayawati garland had only Rs.21 lakh: BSP minister

March 17th, 2010 - 12:04 am ICT by IANS -
Lucknow, March 16 (IANS) After initial denials about Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister Mayawati having been felicitated with a giant sized
garland made of Rs.1,000 denomination currency notes at the Bahujan
Samaj Party (BSP) rally here Monday, party leaders Tuesday said it
contained only Rs.21 lakh, not Rs.5 crore.
Taking cognizance of the gift, the Income Tax department is said to
have issued a notice to Mayawati.

"The garland had currency notes worth only Rs.21 lakh, that were
contributed by a large number of party leaders and workers,"
Mayawati's close confidante and cabinet Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui
declared here Tuesday.

"The money for the garland was collected by party functionaries in
Lucknow and we arranged to have a special garland made for our leader
here itself," he told mediapersons, after the party's earlier denials
were rebutted with huge pictures on TV as well as in print, clearly
showing the currency notes.

Siddiqui refuted media reports about the garland having been gifted by
BSP functionaries in Karnataka, where it was earlier stated to have
been crafted.

When a journalist sought to draw his attention to a Karnataka BSP
leader having gone on record Monday claiming that the garland was
brought by him, Siddiqui said: "What I am telling you is the truth. I
do not know of what and who made this claim from Karnataka."

Accusing the opposition of spreading all kinds of canard against the
BSP, he said: "Well, the opposition has got the jitters after seeing
the mammoth turnout at our rally, so they are bound to make wild
allegations against us."

Asked what the party would do in the wake of the Income Tax probe
ordered into the garland affair, Siddiqui said the party was "not
scared of any inquiry as we have not done anything wrong".

Flatly denying the opposition charge that the rally was a "government
sponsored affair" and that it entailed an expenditure of Rs.200 crore,
he said that by no stretch of imagination, could it be such a whopping

"Let me tell you, most of the work was undertaken by volunteers who
worked without taking a penny in return to make the rally a grand
success, which was what the opposition cannot digest," he added.


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