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Govt functionaries as fund collectors

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M K Gupta, a UP PWD engineer, was killed allegedly by BSP MLA, Mr Sekhar Tiwari, and his henchmen, for refusing to donate money for Mayawati's birthday celebrations.

Mayawati admitted that her birthday, Jan 15, was traditionally observed as 'aarthic sahayog diwas' (financial help day), with her followers collecting funds. Justifying the fund collection, Mayawati said: "We are a party of economically weak and downtrodden people, without any kind of support from industrialists and businessmen, who are patrons of other political parties like the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "We therefore depend on contribution from supporters, who donate to the party funds on my birthday."

She, however, added: "This time I have issued directions for such funds to come only from party functionaries and not MPs and MLAs of the party." In a retort to the opposition, Mayawati declared that her next birthday would be celebrated as `dhikkar diwas' (condemnation day) without the usual bash. "BSP workers will stage rallies at all district headquarters across the state to condemn all political parties which have been making false and wild allegations about extortion of money for my birthday. They will expose misdeeds of the Congress-led UPA, BJP-led NDA and their allies, including the Samajwadi Party."

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Well, Mayawati and her henchmen have taken it to its limits. But, this is not a phenomenon confined to the 'Bimaru' states. Even in our own 'progressive' Karnataka, we repeatedly hear about top posts in various government organisations being auctioned to highest bidders, with the position of Chairman being kept aside exclusivly for this purpose. Not surprisingly, going by the findings of the latest survey conducted by Transparency International India and the Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi, namma Karnataka has now climbed to the top slot of “very highly corrupt states.” (check: Strengthening the institution of the Lokayukta is becoming more and more imperative.

Muralidhar Rao

[PS from blr_editor: tone changed from "action" to "media reports", also moved off frontpage as its not a local news share or report for Bangalore] comment guidelines

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