At an innocent glance, the exquisitely chiseled bronze elephants, flanked by ceremonial bells and adorned with garlands atop the stone pillars at Noida’s upcoming Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial Park would seem a visual treat for visitors.
But, thanks to the southward slant of their trunks, the elephant heads may mean more than just a sight for sore eyes. These elephants, with their trunks lowered, are exact replica of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party’s official election symbol, complain local residents.
The elephants could run on rampage and spell trouble for the project’s executors, the Noida Authority and the Uttar Pradesh Rajkiya Nirman Nigam.
The Election Commission had recently asked the BSP to reply by August 12 why action should not be initiated against the party for spending precious public funds to build elephants statues—referring to the party’s symbol—at parks all over the state.
However, reacting top the EC’s directive, the BSP’s general secretary Satish Mishra on Wednesday had clarified that “the trunks of elephants installed at the memorial sites were raised and in a welcome mode, which was absolutely different from the party’s symbol.”
The elephants installed at Lucknow’s Ambedkar maidan indeed have their trunks raised but this is not the case at the Noida Park.
“The elephants at the Noida park resemble the BSP symbol with their trunks down. We will complain to the concerned authorities,” local resident Anand Arya who petitioned the Supreme Court against the construction of the park told Hindustan Times.
Arya also alleged that around “25 elephants statues that were lying in section of the memorial park till Wednesday were removed on Thursday when the Central empowered Committee members were to inspect the site as directed by the apex court.” He asked, “Who removed them and why just before the CEC’s visit?”