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I take money for party tickets: Mayawati
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | October 18, 2006 20:52 IST
Last Updated: October 18, 2006 20:53 IST
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati makes no bones about taking money from aspirants seeking party tickets at various elections.
"Yes, we take money from aspirants, but that is meant to be given back to the candidates to meet poll expenditure," Mayawati told a mammoth gathering on Wednesday outside the Bahujan Prerna Kendra where she arrived with the ashes of her mentor Kanshi Ram.
"After all, everything costs money; for instance hiring a helicopter for campaigning is an expensive affair and we have to mobilize funds to meet that heavy expense," she sought to justify.
And as if to further reinforce her point, she went on to add, "I consider it better to fund the party's election campaign in this manner rather than following what other parties do -- going with a begging bowl before business houses."
She warned, "Mind you, these business houses always seek their pound of flesh when the party they have funded comes to power." Mayawati also claimed that this was the reason why parties like the Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress only ended up making tailor-made policies to suit big industrialists and business tycoons, because their debts had to be repaid.
The BSP chief went on to add, "If I were greedy, I could have easily collected hundreds of crores from businessmen, who would not hesitate top shell out any amount of money for my party and then quietly swallowed half of it like some of my rivals have been doing. But my priorities are different and I am committed to the cause of the downtrodden."