Lucknow: Despite being criticised over the currency garland controversy, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Wednesday defied the authorities by appearing again with a second currency garland.
Sources said the garland was presented to Mayawati by her supporters and is worth Rs 18 lakhs.
A BSP legislator said, “The money for the currency garland was collected with the help of donations from 18 BSP party-units.”
Mayawati had earlier called for an emergency meeting of her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to discuss the currency garland controversy involving her.
She was severely criticized both inside and outside Parliament as the currency garland controversy sparked demands for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the source of money used to make the garland reportedly worth Rs 5 crore.
The emergency meeting was called as the Income Tax Department is expected to begin an inquiry into the controversy.
The department is reportedly collecting photographs and video footage of the garland from various sources, including newspapers and TV channels that covered the event.
The Samajwadi Party and the Congress both have demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the matter, questioning the source from where the money had come.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh has accused Mayawati of misusing public money, and said that she is not the daughter of a Dalit, but the daughter of wealth.
Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev has also criticized her of doing business through politics.
The multi-crore garland was just a small part of the extravagant Rs 200 crore celebrations that marked the BSP”s 25th anniversary, and its founder Kanshi Ram”s birthday, with a massive rally in Lucknow.