New Dellhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati turned 56 on Sunday. But unlike previous years, Lucknow hasn't been bathed in blue lights this time. Celebrations will be low key because the Election Commission has ordered the District Magistrate of Lucknow to keep a close watch on festivities and submit a full account of expenses incurred by the ruling BSP on Sunday.
The EC is scrutinising all weddings and birthdays as it suspects that these occasions may be used to distribute gifts and bribe voters. Also, no big projects will be announced by the government because the model code of conduct is in place. But Mayawati may disclose her list of candidates for the upcoming elections.
Unlike in the past, when the birthday bash was hosted by the state government which she heads, this time it will be a party affair. "Behenji's birthday celebration is being hosted by the party and it is certainly not a violation of the election model code of conduct," claimed state BSP president Swami Prasad Maurya. According to him, Mayawati would also release the seventh volume of her autobiography with the latest account of her achievements.
Mayawati's birthday celebrations were usually associated with fund collection drives. Three years ago, an executive engineer of the state public works department was attacked and killed by a BSP MLA in Auraiya district because the young man refused to shell out money demanded by the MLA for 'Behenji's birthday'. The MLA eventually landed in jail.