New Delhi: In a huge blow to BSP supremo Mayawati, the Supreme Court has said she may have to pay back the public money splurged on building hordes of statues in Noida. The apex court said this while hearing a plea seeking a direction to restrain her from spending public money, news agency ANI reported.

The statues in the Noida and Lucknow parks are of her own, of her parents, of elephants (her party’s election symbol), of BR Ambedkar, of Kanshiram and of Jyotiba Phule. But the Supreme Court is not seeking payback for them all. It’s only for Mayawati’s own statues and those of elephants, her election symbol.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has fixed April 2 as the next date of hearing in the case. The CJI-led bench observed, "This is our tentative view. Madam Mayawati, reimburse the public exchequer all the amount spent for these elephants."

During her stint as Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Mayawati constructed two huge parks with statues of Dalit icons but also got so carried away that she included her own statues as well.

According to estimates, Mayawati spent Rs 5,919 crore for the memorial parks.

BJP spokesperson Anil Singh was quick to hit out saying, "If she is made to pay it back, that will be the ultimate justice with the people of this country". 

The petition on the issue was filed by advocate Ravi Kant in 2009 and on Friday the matter came after quite a long time.

Earlier, the apex court had passed various interim orders and directions in which the issue of environmental concern was also raised.

Further, there was also a direction to the Election Commission that during the election the elephants built in the park have to be covered.

The court's rap comes at a time when the mahagathbandhan is taking shape tentatively. The SP and BSP have formed a pre-poll alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming 2019 general elections.