Mayawati wants memorial guards, and Rs.53 cr for them

Lucknow, Jan 28 (Calcutta Tube) The Mayawati government Thursday tabled a bill in the Uttar Pradesh state assembly, seeking to raise a special security force to guard the chief minister’s dream projects and statues here and in Noida. The opposition has slammed the move.

A one-time allocation of Rs.53 crore has been proposed for the new force together with an annual recurring budget of Rs.10 crore.

Besides the statues and new memorials coming up in the name of various icons of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the force would guard the new sprawling pink-sandstone bungalow Mayawati has built for her post-chief ministerial days.

The Rs.42 crore mansion was built by the state government on a giant 100,000 sq ft plot in the state capital’s posh Mall Avenue, after pulling down a minister’s bungalow and the office of state sugarcane commission. The minister’s bungalow was allotted to Mayawati after her first stint as chief minister in the mid-1990s, in keeping with the tradition of allotting a ‘suitable’ residence to all former chief ministers for their lifetime.

More than half a dozen former chief ministers were living in different bungalows in the state capital here. However, none of them has any special force to guard them and security personnel are deployed in accordance with the individual entitlement of each of the former chief ministers.

The new force would be designated to guard the Ambedkar Memorials at both the state capital and Noida, besides Lucknow’s Kanshi Ram Memorial, Kanshi Ram Sanskritik Sthal, Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan, Buddha Vihar and Kanshi Ram Green Eco Garden, coming up on the sprawling 120 acre plot vacated after the shifting of the district jail to the city outskirts. The state government was spending nearly Rs.6,000 crore on these projects.

While there was no debate on the bill so far, leaders of opposition parties were very critical of the chief minister on the issue.

‘I fail to understand why she needs to raise a special force to guard her statues and memorials,’ asked Samajwadi Party leader Ambika Chaudhary while talking to media persons outside the state assembly house.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) chief Pramod Tiwari remarked: ‘This reflects Mayawati’s guilt of spending thousands of crores only to satisfy her whims and ego.’

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