The Supreme Court has turned down UP chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati’s plea for permission to build temporary toilets and make other arrangements at the Ambedkar Memorial Park in Lucknow for a special ceremony to be held there.
In the petition, Mayawati’s government had contended that lakhs of people would assemble at the venue on the occasion of Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on December 6.
It may be mentioned that in September, the apex court had banned all construction work at many memorial parks being built by Mayawati in Lucknow in tribute to Dalit icons including herself.
The construction cost of the parks and memorials is estimated to be 2,000 crores rupees.
The UP government approved the construction but the Supreme Court had pointed out that the government cannot sanction this sort of expenditure using taxpayers’ money.
However, despite the ban, construction work was found to be in progress by the media, which resulted in a furious attack by the Supreme Court, warning the Mayawati government ‘not to play games’.
The government has formally apologized to the court, but insists that it has not violated any orders. Since then, it has filed a series of appeals asking for permission to continue construction required for ‘maintenance’. Each of these appeals has been rejected.