Congress says it will oppose this brazen display of wealth.
The Congress on Wednesday criticised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for her blatant display of wealth at public rallies and party functions.
Talking to reporters here, All-India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of U.P. Digvijay Singh said she was “no more a Dalit ke beti [daughter of a Dalit], but daulat ke beti [daughter of wealth].”
He said the Congress did not subscribe to this brazen display of wealth and would oppose this form of corruption.
Ms. Mayawati was presented a garland made of currency at a party meeting in Lucknow on Wednesday, just days after there was an outcry over a similar garland, valued at between Rs. 21 lakh and Rs. 15 crore, being presented to her on Monday.
“Ask any person in U.P. how money has been collected. Mass collection of funds is perpetuated and institutionalised by the Bahujan Samaj Party government. I have not seen this kind of institutionalised corruption anywhere in the country,” he alleged.
He said Central funds were being misused in the State. “We will take the fight to the masses to expose Mayawati,’’ he said while demanding that she should make the property acquired in her and her relatives’ names public.
Congress spokesman Jayanthi Natarajan said appropriate authorities should probe the source of funds to prepare the garlands. “During a recent stampede in an ashram, Ms. Mayawati said the State had no funds to give as relief to the victims and their families, but it has enough money for garlands,’’ she pointed out.
The issue of the garland presented at a public rally on Monday was raised in Parliament on Tuesday and the Lok Sabha had to be adjourned as MPs, cutting across party lines, demanded a probe into the source of the money. The government has already asked the Income Tax Department to look into it.