New Delhi: A day after the Supreme Court asked BSP chief Mayawati to return the crores of public money spent on grand statues of herself and the BSP party symbol, the elephant, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister on Saturday said the monuments and parks built in the memory of great men and saints born in backward classes are not just a part of the states identity, but they also add regular revenue to the state coffers.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was hearing a plea filed by advocate Ravi Kant in 2009 against the installation of statues.
We primarily think Ms Mayawati should return this money she has spent from the public exchequer on statues, elephants," said Justice Gogoi.
Urging the media and BJP leaders not to distort the apex courts observation, the BSP supremo wrote on Twitter that she was confident of justice being meted to her by the court.
Posting the matter for hearing on April 2, Justice Gogoi said: "Please come prepared on the next date of hearing. And you now know our tentative view."
The comment from the bench prompted senior lawyer and BSP MP Satish Mishra to seek a date in May, perhaps because the voting for the general election is likely to take place in April and the party would not want any adverse news against its top leader around the voting.
However, the CJI said, "No. We won't defer it. Please don't make us say anything more. We would want to say a lot more and but don't make us. Come prepared on the next date."
The PIL alleges that spending over Rs 1,200 crore on statues was completely unjustified when UP has more than 50 million people below the poverty line, besides the lowest literacy rate in the country.