Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Defiant India leader gets new rupee garland

Ms Mayawati receiving the garland on 17 March in Lucknow
Mayawati will receive more money garlands, supporters say (Photo: Krishan Saith)

Controversial Indian politician Mayawati has been given a second garland made entirely of money, this time worth 1.8m rupees ($39,000).

Her party says she will now be given money garlands wherever she goes.

The move follows criticism of Ms Mayawati for accepting a garland of 1,000-rupee notes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on Monday.

Ms Mayawati, who champions the cause of the poorest of the poor, is criticised for amassing vast personal wealth.

She is India's first woman Dalit (formerly "untouchable") chief minister and has a huge following among those at the bottom of the Hindu caste system.

She has spoken many times about her ambition to be prime minister of India but was dealt a setback in general elections last year.


The latest garland was put around Ms Mayawati's neck at a meeting in the city of Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh state which she governs.

"We today [Wednesday] presented another garland of 1.8m rupees to the party supremo collected by party units in all 18 divisions in the state," state minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui told Reuters news agency.

"Wherever she goes, she will henceforth be greeted with garlands of notes and not with garlands of flowers," he was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

Photographs of Ms Mayawati receiving the garland on Wednesday were shown on television channels in India.

On Monday supporters gifted her a garland estimated to have cost between $400,000 and $2m.

Ms Mayawati's actions are a defiant response to her critics, the BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi says.

In the past few years, she has amassed massive personal wealth, throwing lavish birthday parties and accumulating diamond jewellery.

She has also been taken to court for commissioning massive statues of past Dalit icons and herself at great public expense.

Ms Mayawati's critics accuse her of wasting precious government funds in one of India's most backward states. Uttar Pradesh has soaring crime, poor health services and very high illiteracy rates.

Print Sponsor

Profile: Mayawati Kumari
16 Jul 09 |  South Asia
Court halts Mayawati statue spree
11 Sep 09 |  South Asia
Ambitious Mayawati spreads wings
16 Apr 09 |  South Asia
India's untouchable icon aims for Delhi
12 Feb 08 |  South Asia

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific