In a brazen act of defiance, Mayawati on Wednesday ignored the opposition outcry over her being adorned with Rs 1000 notes and was again garlanded with currency notes to the tune of Rs18 lakh.
The garland comprising notes of various denominations was presented at a meeting of party leaders two days after she was felicitated with 1000-rupee notes estimated between Rs 21 lakh and Rs 15 crore at a massive BSP rally in Lucknow.
"Wherever she goes, she will henceforth be greeted with garland of notes and not with garland of flowers," state PWD Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui told media persons after the meeting.
"Joh Behenji se tak raayega woh mitti mein mil jaayega (whoever challenges Mayawati will be doomed)," he said.
He said for Wednesday's programme, members from 18 zones of UP have contributed one-rupee each. "The total contribution is Rs 18 lakh."
Defending the gesture, BSP MLA Sayed Kazam Ali Khan said political leaders are garlanded at public functions. It was done in front of lakhs of people, not behind any closed room.
"When it comes to Mayawati, all political parties, irrespective of being against each other at the national level, gang up against her," he said.
The BSP supremo has came under sharp attack inside and outside Parliament over the currency garland issue.
The IT department has decided to investigate the source of the money for the garland presented to her at the 'Maha' rally. The Congress, BJP and Samajwadi Party have also demanded a CBI probe.