The huge garland that Mayawati wore at a public rally has caught the attention of Income Tax department, which is all set to probe its source.

As the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s detractors demanded a central probe, the Income Tax department stepped in and decided to investigate the source of the money for the garland of Rs 1,000 notes presented to her at the ‘maha rally in Lucknow yesterday.

The department will probe the funding and ownership of currency notes, sources said.

The Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) supremo came under sharp attack inside and outside Parliament after the “multi crore” currency garland triggered an outrage fuelling demands by Opposition for a central probe into the source of money.

As Mayawati’s rally to mark the Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) silver jubilee rocked the Lok Sabha which had to adjourned for the day several hours ahead of schedule, Congress said the Centre should look into the “organised loot” in Uttar Pradesh.

The Samajwadi party, which also backed Congress’ demand for a central probe, has already demanded a CBI inquiry. BJP also backed the demand for a probe .

After the BSP supremo came in the eye of a fresh controversy, Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh wryly said Ms. Mayawati is “no more a Dalit ki beti but Daulat ki beti“(no more a daughter of Dalit but a moneyed daughter), referring to the garland of 1,000 rupee currency notes presented to her.

“Mayawati is no longer the woman representing the common man. She is playing in lakhs and crores (of rupees),” he said.

“We appeal to the government to take cognizance of Mayawati’s rally and the garland presented to her. It should be inquired into,” he added.

BJP’s Rajnath Singh said the State machinery has been misused by the ruling BSP for the lavish celebrations and it should be looked into.

Going on the defensive, BSP general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui rejected speculation that value of the notes in the garland ran into crores of rupees, saying it the money totalled only “Rs 21 lakhs”.

“The talk of crores of rupees is not true,” he said, adding that the garland was presented by Lucknow district BSP unit by contributing small amounts of money. The garland is in the custody of Ms. Mayawati, he said.

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