Thursday, January 21, 2010

Maya’s birthday dilemma - "IIPM-News"

Welfare schemes to replace cakes at Mayawati's celebration

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is making an all-out effort to improve its image in Uttar Pradesh. The party, which claims to be the true representative of the poor and the down-trodden, has decided to celebrate chief minister Mayawati’s 54th birthday on January 15 as “people’s welfare day.”

Mayawati – famously known for her birthday parties – made it clear to her supporters that there will be no “fund raising” programme this year. An official release stated: “The day will be marked by the announcement of special schemes and programmes for the poor, widows, students and old people of the state.” Addressing a gathering, Mayawati told her leaders to work towards strengthening the party at the national level. She also added that this will help the party capture power at the Centre. On why her party had been raising funds to celebrate her birthday, she said that her mentor Kanshi Ram had always wished it to be like that. On this occasion, it was incumbent upon party’s leaders and supporters to donate money which were distributed among leaders to contest elections. However, this came under immense criticism when a party MLA allegedly beat an official of the Uttar Pradesh Public Works Department to death in 2008 for not contributing money for her birthday bash. Above all, the opposition has accused the BSP of collecting “gifts and cash worth millions of rupees” from the public in the name of birthday celebrations. The fund raising drive has also been called an extortion scheme by extremly critical opponents. Since then, Mayawati has toned down her birthday celebrations. In fact, now welfare programmes and schemes will replace life-size cake cutting ceremonies.

However, the BSP supremo has always said and maintained, “The party always depends on small donations from people, as they never accept money from business houses or other entities unlike other political parties who take donations to safeguard their interests, ignoring the rights of the poor." Now, that's left for the people to judge.

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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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