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Mayawati announces 3 big,97 small schemes

There was no cake to cut and no candles to blow out. No one sang ‘happy birthday’ either. Still,Chief Minister Mayawati’s birthday,a mega occasion for her party so far,turned into a state event...

Birthday gift to the exchequer — a drain of Rs 3,500 crore

There was no cake to cut and no candles to blow out. No one sang ‘happy birthday’ either. Still,Chief Minister Mayawati’s birthday,a mega occasion for her party so far,turned into a state event,with the birthday girl announcing three big populist schemes,with an eye to the parliamentary polls.

Together,the schemes (see box) will take away around Rs 2,750 crore from the state exchequer. Mayawati also announced 97 other schemes which will,put together,cost Rs 750 crore. These included 10 new bridges and 26 new roads,dedication of 31 bridges to the people of the state,construction of hostels for SC/ST girls and boys in Noida and Greater Noida and reduction of VAT on 200 items.

Making the announcement,Mayawati said it has been a BSP tradition to launch developmental schemes on her birthday. “It is being celebrated the same way this year too. My party workers are helping the poor and downtrodden across the state,” she said.

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The opposition,meanwhile,held protests against the murder of PWD executive engineer M K Gupta,allegedly by BSP legislator Shekhar Tiwari,for his failure to contribute for Mayawati’s birthday.

The chief minister claimed the Opposition protest has helped her party collect “double the donation we raised last year”. “The money,” she said,“will help my party contest the Lok Sabha elections”. She said she wished the Opposition held such protests every year to help BSP collect more money.

Denying that there was any connection between the engineer’s murder and fund-raising,Mayawati said: “The opposition parties,which are functioning with the help of capitalists’ money,deliberately linked the Auraiya case to party donations. This was a conspiracy to malign the image of the BSP.”

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Gupta’s family,she said,had met her and told her that they were satisfied with the police investigation and did not want a CBI inquiry.

“My party could have given a fitting reply to the opposition,but I do not encourage such petty politics,” she said. “My party could also organise Ghulami Diwas,Dalal Diwas and Dhokhadhadi Diwas” on the birthdays of Sonia Gandhi,Amar Singh and L K Advani,” she added.

On the occasion,Mayawati also released the fourth volume of her Bluebook,“Mere Sangharshmay Jeevan evam BSP Movement ka Safarnama” (Hindi version). The English version will be released on March 15,the birth anniversary of party founder Kanshi Ram.

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Where will Rs 2,750 crore go
* Savitribai Phule Balika Shiksha Madad Yojna: The government will give Rs 25,000 to help educate girls from BPL families. The first instalment will be Rs 15,000 and a bicycle to each girl studying in Class XI in government schools. The second installment of Rs 10,000 will come when the girl is in Class XII. This year,1.5 lakh girls are expected to benefit. The government will spend around Rs 500 crore this year and Rs 1,000 crore from next year on the scheme.
* Mahamaya Gharib Balika Ashirvaad Yojna: Girls born on or after January 15,2009 in BPL families will benefit. A fixed deposit of Rs 20,000 in the name of the girl will be made,which will grow to Rs 1 lakh when she turns 18. The money will be given provided she is not married before 18. The deposit will be subject to two girls per family,unless there are twins in first two births. The government will spend Rs 2,000 crore on this scheme every year. Tamil Nadu already has such a scheme.
* Sarvajan Hitay Gharib Awas Malikana Haq Yojna: The state will allott land in the name of a person living at any slum for long at a nominal rate. The cost of the land has been calculated to be around Rs 350 crore.

First published on: 16-01-2009 at 02:31:09 am
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