Covers put on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati's statues - in accordance with the election commission's orders - came off within minutes on Sunday.
State government officials carrying out the task appeared confused and lifted the covers acting on the orders of "higher authorities" whom they did not name.
A cover put on the CM's statue in state capital Lucknow came off, as did the plastic sheets placed for around 20 minutes on the statues at Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal and Green Garden, a R685-crore park in Noida.
On Saturday, chief election commissioner SY Quraishi had announced statues of Mayawati and BSP's election symbol, elephant, across the state would have to be covered till the assembly polls. He had directed the administration to cover the statues of other leaders too.
An official who did not want to be named said the poll watchdog's orders had not arrived and also cited logistics for the delay in covering the statues. "A huge amount of water proof covers is required. There are more than a hundred life-size statues of elephants."
Lucknow DM Anil Kumar Sagar said, "I received the written directives from the election commission just in the evening. The process of covering the statues will be started from Monday."