The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Election Commission (EC) to first decide on the maintainability of the complaint filed by advocate Ravi Kant, alleging misuse of public funds for installation of statues by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for self-glorification and to promote the symbol of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
A Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar passed this order on an application filed by the Commission for a direction to the State government to furnish details of the number of statues of elephants and Ms. Mayawati to decide the issue before it.
The Bench said: “We are informed that the matter has been argued [in the Commission] threadbare on the aspect of maintainability on April 7. If, on the question of maintainability, the Election Commission wants further hearing, notice may be given. However, the decision shall be given by the Election Commission within a period of three months. Place the writ petition on receipt of the decision of the Election Commission.”
Earlier, senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for U.P., said maintainability should be decided first before the Commission took up the other issues.
Senior counsel Ashok Desai, appearing for the Commission, said the February 22 order of the Supreme Court made it clear that there was no need to go into maintainability.
Justice Kapadia, however, said that if the Commission held that the complaint was maintainable then it could call for material from the State government. “We want to see the decision of the EC whether the complaint is maintainable or not. Suppose the EC comes to the conclusion that the complaint is not maintainable, then there will be no need to ask for any material.”
The Supreme Court earlier asked the Election Commission to pass appropriate orders on Ravi Kant’s petition.
Govt prints touts’ posters to check corruption
Lucknow In a bid to check corruption in welfare schemes, the Uttar Pradesh government has directed the rural development department to prepare posters of touts and paste them in villages and blocks.
“Chief Development Officers should launch a drive against corruption and get FIRs lodged against middlemen involved in schemes like Indira Awas and Mahamaya Awas Yojna,” Rural Development Minister Daddu Prasad said during a review meeting here yesterday.
“Posters of these middlemen should be printed and pasted on the walls in the villages and blocks so that corruption could be checked,” he added.
He said that awareness camps should be organised in all blocks across the state to make people aware.
Prasad said that stern action should be taken against officers having poor performance in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
Election Commission to decide on BSP’s party symbol
NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Election Commission to decide within three months a complaint-seeking freezing of the ‘elephant’ symbol of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for allegedly violating poll panel’s instructions on use of party symbols.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said it was keeping the petition relating to the issue alive before it and any further proceedings will take place after it goes through the decision on the maintainability of the complaint by the Election Commission.
The apex court further said that the question of seeking material from the Uttar Pradesh Government would arise only after it decides on the validity of the order passed by the Election Commission.
The Supreme Court had on February 22 directed the Election Commission to deliver judgement whether installation of statues of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and elephants, which is BSP’s election symbol, at various parks in the state, at the cost of public money was violative of election law. (ANI)
BSP now third largest party in Rajya Sabha
At a time when the Congress party is struggling to find legislative support in Parliament, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)—its rival in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh—has become the third largest group in the Upper House, replacing the Communist Party of India-Marxist, or CPM.
The Congress leads the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre.
After the biennial polls held on 14 and 17 June to elect 55 members to the Rajya Sabha, the BSP, led by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, now has 17 members in the Upper House, after Congress (71) and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP (49).
The CPM, which has been facing a series of electoral defeats since it withdrew support to the UPA government in July 2008, has 15 legislators in the Rajya Sabha. The Samajwadi Party, the main opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, has just five members.
CPM politburo member and Rajya Sabha legislator Sitaram Yechury said the BSP will now be politically more crucial. “…The dominant party in Uttar Pradesh is always strong in Rajya Sabha because of the sheer size of the state,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh sends 80 legislators to the Lok Sabha, the most by any state. The BSP has 226 members in the state’s 403-member assembly.
This is the first time the BSP, largely a UP-focused party, has gained a significant presence in the Rajya Sabha. According to data from the Election Commission of India, the party had won 23.19% votes in the 2002 assembly polls and 24.67% of the Lok Sabha seats in UP in the 2004 general election. Its fortunes improved in 2007 when it won 206 seats in the assembly elections, winning 30.43% of the votes in the most populous state, which had long been a bastion of the Congress, the BJP and the socialists.
A section of Congress leaders admitted a stronger BSP would be bad news for the ruling party, but Satyavrat Chaturvedi, a senior Congress leader, said the development would not affect the Union government adversely.
“The BSP supports the UPA government so the party becoming stronger in Parliament… This should not have any impact on the government,” he said. “Each political party has its own agenda and it’s natural that it (the BSP) bargains for what it wants. It is part and parcel of coalition politics.” Mayawati has backed the Congress on occasions in Parliament but has also been severely critical of the party on several issues.
The Congress and its allies in the UPA now hold fewer than 100 seats in the 245-member Rajya Sabha.
One-third of the Upper House retires every two years. Rajya Sabha members are elected by members of state legislative assemblies in a system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.
Maya’s cultural Prabuddha Brarath Matha Maha Mayajaal
It has now become evident that in the cultural realm she is
simply Schedul Caste and Bahujanising the whole state. Not
only are districts being renamed after SC/ST-bahujan icons, but the
very ethos of Uttar Pradesh is undergoing a revolutionary change now.
Ms Mayawati has built many monuments on the Navayana Buddhist theme
(navayana is Pali for new vehicle). Navayana Buddhist refers to the
idea that a Buddhist movement may represent a new yana. Dr Babasaheb
Ambedkar: “I will accept and follow the teachings of Buddha. I will
keep my people away from the different opinions of Hinyan and Mahayan,
two religious orders. Our Bouddha Dhamma is a new Bouddha Dhamma,
The Buddhist and Ambedkar parks that Ms Mayawati is building will
inevitably reduce the spiritual significance of Ayodhya,
Kashi-Benares, Mathura and so on.
By renaming districts after Ambedkar, Phule, Sahuji Maharaj, Rama Bai
(the illiterate first wife of Ambedkar), the SC/ST-bahujan icons of
Maharashtra and the birthplace of Navayana Buddhism, she has changed
Uttar Pradesh’s cultural atmosphere itself.
Of course, Kanshi Ram and Ms Mayawati herself have been elevated as
icons in the process. In Uttar Pradesh, they are not only names of
districts but their statues are being worshipped in Ambedkar parks.
Ms Mayawati’s decision to transform the cultural realm of Uttar
Pradesh would certainly have all-India implications. Brahmins of Uttar Pradesh are not in a position to resist this
transformation. She has put it on an irreversible course.
The Congress cannot stall this course either. Wherever the Congress is
in power, they have named institutions after Nehru, Indira Gandhi and
Rajiv Gandhi. But they do not have any culturally transformative
implications. Buddha, Ambedkar, Phule, Sahuji Maharaj, Periyar, Kanshi
Ram and so on are not like that. They have serious anti-Hindu cultural
implications. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) knows this but is not
in a position to do anything because it burnt its hands in Ayodhya and
Gujarat. Further, the BJP cannot say that these are anti-national
Likewise, the Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav cannot
reverse or stop the trend because he has no alternative of his own to
offer. His party is now competing for power for the sake of power,
without constructing any socio-cultural agenda of its own. Its icons,
Ram Manohar Lohia and Charan Singh, do not have much impact in the
cultural realm, unlike Ambedkar.
The fact is that unless icons are associated with alternative
spiritual culture they do not create a following that lasts long. In
the modern period only Ambedkar did that and Kanshi Ram brought that
icon into unbelievable achievability. And Ms
Mayawati’s SC/ST Bahujan Samaj common sense captured that imagination very well.
Now Congress, the SP or the BJP cannot come to power and they will not be
able to dismantle the Ambedkar parks or rename the districts. Earlier,
Ms Mayawati was in power only for six months each time — that too with
the BJP’s support. But now she will be there for full 20 years and
the chances of her getting re-elected are very high. If she is in
power just for 10 years, Uttar Pradesh’s cultural history will change
Not many know that Kanshi Ram had a vision of constructing the biggest
Ambedkarite Buddha Vihara in Uttar Pradesh along with a massive
international airport in Lucknow. His plan was that Uttar Pradesh
should become a big Ambedkarite Buddhist international tourist centre
so that it could generate a competitive tourist capital.
Ms Mayawati seems to think that she has to fulfil her mentor’s dream.
She seems to understand that cultural capital will be more
long-lasting than political and economic capital.