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I take money for party tickets: Mayawati
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | June 05, 2006 09:02 IST
Last Updated: June 05, 2006 09:03 IST
In a candid and bold confession, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Sunday told a press conference in Lucknow that she did take money from aspirants for party tickets.
Portraying herself as some kind of a Robin Hood, she said, "Since many rich persons were keen to contest on our party ticket, I see nothing wrong in taking some contribution for them; after all, I use the money to enable poor and economically weak Dalit candidates to contest."
Claiming that she had succeeded in building her party across the length and breadth of the country through contributions she said, "Since the party was strong in states like Uttar Pradesh, we collect donations from our supporters and party volunteers here to build our party in southern states, where we were trying to build a base."
She went on to add, "It simply amounts to taking money from economically strong general candidates for the benefit of poor Dalit nominees, who cannot contest an election on their own."
Seeking to justify her stand, she said, "Remember, unlike the Samajwadi Party, Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party, the BSP does not comprise affluent industrialists, businessmen or traders; we run the party solely with the help of contributions received from party supporters and through membership drives."
She said, "While other parties only have fake membership drives, we believe in real people's mobilisation which brings us a lot of money in the form of membership fees; besides we also receive money as gifts against coupons issued on my birthday."
Flaying other political parties, she sought to point out, "When parties receive money from industrialists and businessmen, they frame policies for the benefit of those donors, while sacrificing the interests of ordinary people; and that was the reason why India had not witnessed the desired development in 57 years."