Want to extend personal birthday wishes to BSP supremo Mayawati on her 62nd birthday on January 15? You can do so by paying Rs 50,000. In fact, the cost of personal birthday wish has been reduced to half in view of dwindling stakes of the party following its crushing defeat in the last three elections in Uttar Pradesh.Earlier, the price tag was Rs 1 lakh. Last year, the birthday of the BSP supremo was a low-key affair due to the enforcement of model code of conduct for 2017 Assembly polls. But after tasting a little success in recently-concluded urban local bodies’ polls, the party has decided to celebrate her 62nd birthday on January 15 again as ‘arthik sahyog diwas’ (monetary support day).Ever since Mayawati ascended to power in Uttar Pradesh in 1995 becoming the state Chief Minister for the first time, she has been accused of using her birthday celebrations to raise funds for the party as well as add to her personal wealth. Besides receiving glittering gold, diamond-studded sets as gifts and Rs 1000 currency note garlands on birthdays, she allegedly bought commercial properties in Connaught Place and palatial bungalows in Delhi and Lucknow’s posh Mall Avenue and Cantonment from the money raised on her birthdays.From Rs 11 crores in 2004, her wealth has gone up to Rs 112 crores in 2012, more than 100 per cent in just 8 years. Wealth of her brother Anand Kumar, a clerk, is also estimated at more Rs 1300 crore. He is now party Vice-President.A senior party leader told DNA that all the party sitting and former MPs, legislators, zonal coordinators, district presidents and other functionaries have been directed to bring minimum financial support of Rs 50,000 from at least 500 supporters each to fill the party coffers.Each BSP leader has been given a target to collect Rs 25 lakh for party fund on behenji’s birthday. The target is to raise Rs 75 to 100 crore on her 62nd birthday into the party fund.”The BSP is out of power since 2012 and funds are desperately needed to resurrect the party against communal forces. Her birthday would be celebrated as aarthik sahyog diwas to raise much-needed funds for the party for the Lok Sabha 2019 polls and welfare of dalits,” said a senior BSP leader requesting anonymity.The senior leader admitted that funds collection in the last five years have come down drastically due to party continuously losing ground in subsequent Assembly and Lok Sabha polls since 2012. “But party has covered some of the lost ground in urban local bodies’ polls and people, particularly dalits, have reposed faith in BSP’s policies and its fight against the BJP,” he said.Once her trusted confidante, former Finance Minister KK Gautam alleged that Mayawati puts cost to each and every activity in the BSP, be it her birthday, ticket distribution, rallies or appointments of functionaries on party posts. “It was due to her greediness, Manyawar Kanshi Ram’s mission for the dalit samaj got a setback and dalits weaned away from the BSP. There is not a single associate of Kanshi Ram left in the party which has become personal fiefdom of Mayawati, her brother Anand Kumar and Satish Mishra,” he said.Last year, expelled former BSP Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui had released many tapes in which Mayawati had openly demanded money from him for the party fund. “The party is on the brink of losing its political significance but she is out to celebrate her birthday again as arthik sahyog diwas to amass more personal wealth,” alleged Siddiqui.FUND-RAISEREach BSP leader has been given a target to collect Rs 25 lakh for party fund on behenji’s birthday. The target is to raise Rs 75 to 100 crore on her 62nd birthday into the party fund.
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