Gates Foundation to invest Rs. 250 crore in UP

Uttar Pradesh has been assured of an investment of Rs. 250 crore by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in medical, health and family welfare sectors in the state. Besides, the Foundation has also shown interest in extending its contribution towards improving the State’s health indices.

This was decided at a meeting between the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati and the Foundation’s founder, Melinda Gates in Lucknow on Wednesday. The meeting held at the Chief Minister’s 5, Kalidas Marg official residence was attended by the officers of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The programmes run by the Foundation in the State’s health and family welfare sectors, as well as the future plans were discussed in the meeting. Appreciating the initiative taken by the Founation, Ms. Mayawati assured all possible assistance from the Uttar Pradesh Government.

According to an official spokesman, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister was informed by Ms. Gates that schemes worth Rs. 500 crore have been launched by the Foundation with the maximum investment being made in U.P. . Ms. Gates said the Foundation was interested in extending the benefits to those sections who were unable to avail the medical, health and family welfare services.

Particular emphasis was laid on women and child welfare and polio and tuberculosis eradication programmes by Ms. Gates, the spokesman said.

Ms. Gates was apprised by the Chief Minister how the long period of political instability in Uttar Pradesh had ended following the formation of the Bahujan Samaj Party Government in May 2007. Ms. Mayawati said a comprehensive health and family welfare programme had been formulated by her Government to ensure that these services were extended to poor and deprived sections of the population.

Ms. Mayawati said the people of the State, particularly the poor, were now ensured of better health services.

Relief for Mayawati in cash garland case

Allahabad: Bringing huge relief to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, the Allahabad High Court Monday rejected a plea for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the money garland gifted to her at a rally here last week.

A division bench of Chief Justice Amitabh Lala and Justice Anil Kumar dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) on grounds of the petitioners failing to furnish any supportive evidence on the demand for a CBI investigation.

The PIL was moved jointly by three lawyers practicing in the high court here.

The garland, estimated to have been made with 50,000 notes of Rs.1,000 denomination each making it worth Rs.5 crore in cash, was given to her at a massive rally to mark 25 years of the Bahujan Samaj Party on March 15.

The court also declined to look into the charge of “misuse of government machinery and funds” for the rally, which appeared to have drawn a huge crowd of about 500,000 people. The petition alleged that the rally had cost the state exchequer nearly Rs.200 crore.

The money garland gifted by the Karnataka unit of the BSP put Mayawati in the national spotlight with political parties joining hands to condemn the extravagance.

In what is being seen as damage control, another money garland, worth about Rs.18 lakh, was given to Mayawati the next day itself on March 16. This is learnt to have been organised by her close aide and minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui as an attempt to deflect attention from the first garland that was dismantled, sources said.

Mayawati presented with another garland of currency notes

In a show of defiance ignoring all criticism, BSP chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday got herself garlanded with currency notes said to be of the value of Rs. 18 lakh.

The garland comprising notes of various denominations was put around her neck at a meeting of party leaders despite an opposition outcry over her being presented a similar garland of value estimated between Rs. 21 lakh and Rs. 15 crore at a massive rally here on Monday.

“Wherever she goes, she will henceforth be greeted with garland of notes and not with garland of flowers,” State PWD Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui told reporters after the meeting.

The Bahujan Samaj Party supremo has came under sharp attack inside and outside Parliament after she got the “multi crore” currency garland, comprising notes of Rs. 1000.

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.

Siddiqui had yesterday rejected speculation that the value of notes in the garland ran into crores of rupees, saying that the money totalled only Rs. 21 lakh.

IT to probe source of money in Mayawati cash garland

The Income Tax department will probe the source of funding and ownership of the money for the garland made of currency notes presented to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati at a rally in Lucknow.

The department will check the source of the money estimated to be between Rs 10 to Rs 20 crore, sources said.

The probe will be carried out by the IT department in Lucknow as the venue of the function where Mayawati was presented the garland falls under the jurisdiction of the said directorate.

Sources said the I-T department will probe the origin of the Rs 1,000 notes, the bank they have been sourced from and the bank account holder/holder’s identity.

The department has also asked its intelligence wing to gather information in this regard including the funding of the entire event that took place to celebrate Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) anniversary.

SC Declines to Dismiss PIL against Mayawati in Taj Corridor Scam








The Supreme Court has dismissed UP chief minister Mayawati petition seeking quashing a PIL which was filed against her in the Taj corridor scam involving construction of a massive shopping mall and recreational centres near the world famous monument.

Claiming that opposition parties could use the issue to destabilize her government, she had sought quashing of the PIL in the Allahabad High Court.

A bench of the apex court comprising of Justices BS Sirpurkar and B Sudershan Reddy asked the UP government to move to the High Court on the issue of maintainability of the PIL.

“What the opposition is going to demand to destabilize the government, we are not bothered,” the court said.

The observation of the bench came following submission by senior counsel KK Venugopal that the PIL had the susceptibility to destabilize the government. Pleading that if the PIL was permitted hearing, it would only give the opposition an excuse to demand her government’s resignation.

“Destabilisation, why should we go into all those things?” the bench asked.

Besides, the court did not entertain the UP government’s argument that the case was politically motivated as it claimed that four other similar petitions on the same issue were earlier dismissed by the apex court.

However, the apex court, finding no reason to interfere in the matter, granted liberty to the UP government to raise its arguments before the High Court.

The Mayawati government had filed the appeal challenging the Allahabad HC decision to admit a PIL filed by Kamlesh Verma and two others challenging the refusal of the then state Governor T V Rajeswar to grant sanction to the CBI to prosecute Mayawati in the alleged scandal.

The Taj Corridor scandal relates to certain sanctions for grant to construct a massive shopping mall and other recreation centres in the Taj corridor at a huge public cost by bending several rules and regulations.