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EC orders Mayawati statues covered

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati after unveiling the statue of Kanshi Ram and of herself in Lucknow. File photo: Subir Roy

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati after unveiling the statue of Kanshi Ram and of herself in Lucknow. File photo: Subir Roy   | Photo Credit: Subir Roy

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Election Commission's decision comes on slew of complaints from Opposition

The statues of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and of elephant, the symbol of her Bahujan Samaj Party, which dot the numerous parks and memorials built by the government in Lucknow and Noida, will be covered before the seven-phase Assembly elections begin in the State on February 4.

The expenditure incurred on account of the exercise will be borne by the State government, the Election Commission ruled on Saturday, the second and last day of its visit to the State.

The Opposition parties had demanded that these statues be draped before the elections, arguing that they would give the ruling party an undue advantage.

Announcing the decision at a press conference here, Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi said the decision would ensure a level playing field for all candidates. The statues were public property, he said, but political mileage could be drawn from it.

Mr. Quraishi said the statues of the former Prime Ministers, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, would be also be covered. Even the photographs of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister printed on calendars were to be covered. However, the statues of Mahatma Gandhi would be spared. “Mahatma Gandhi is not contesting the elections, and he does not belong to any party.”

At its meetings with eight parties on Friday, the Election Commission received many complaints about the misuse of authority by officers considered close to the ruling party.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 6:29:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ec-orders-mayawati-statues-covered/article2783208.ece

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