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Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday (Feb 8) said BSP’s lawyers will present their side before the Supreme Court, which expressed a tentative view that party chief Mayawati has to deposit the public money used for erecting statues to the state exchequer.

The SP and the BSP have recently forged an alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.

“I don’t have full information about this. The court might have made some observations. BSP’s lawyers will put their side in the court,” Yadav said.

The court, earlier in the day, said it was of the tentative view that Mayawati has to deposit public money used for erecting statues of herself and elephants, the party’s symbol, at parks in Lucknow and Noida to the state exchequer.

During her stint in power from 2007 to 2012, Mayawati had built memorials of Dalit icons and embellished hundreds of parks with statues not only of elephants, but also her own and that of her mentor Kanshi Ram.

Before the SP and BSP forged an alliance, Akhilesh Yadav had then claimed that she had spent nothing less than 40,000 crore. Mayawati had denied the allegations, but she did not reveal the amount spent on memorials.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has posted the matter for final hearing on April 2.

Attacking the BJP without taking its name, Akhilesh Yadav chief said, “A statue is going to be installed in the Lok Bhavan. We will also install a statue of SP leader Ram Sharan Das there.”

He was referring to the Yogi Adityanath government‘s plan to install a 25-feet statue of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Lok Bhawan, which houses the chief minister’s office, in the state capital.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by an advocate who had contended that public money cannot be utilised for creating own statues and for propagating the political party.

The petitioner has alleged that crores of rupees were used from the state budget for 2008-09 to glorify Mayawati who was then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

(With PTI Inputs)

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