The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) shot off a letter to the EC on Thursday, dubbing the latter's orders to cover statues of chief minister Mayawati, and her party symbol elephant in Uttar Pradesh "unjustifed and one-sided".
Chief election commissioner SY Quraishi had announced on January 7 that these would have to be covered till the elections were over. The CEC said the statues of political leaders constructed with public money that could be used for political purpose would have to be covered.
Assuring full cooperation from the BSP in peaceful conduct of the UP assembly polls from February 8 to March 3, the BSP general secretary SC Mishra hoped the EC would reconsider its decision.
"The decision is violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, which provides right of equality," Mishra said in his letter.
He said statues of Mayawati, who is "dalit ki beti" and a four-time CM of Uttar Pradesh, and the BSP symbol did not affect voters in any way, but the EC decision had hurt the sentiments of dalits and backward class communities.
"A number of BSP workers and supporters wanted to come out on the streets to protest… but the CM has given them strict orders to maintain law and order so that the election process is not affected."
Mishra said if the EC thought there was a problem with the BSP symbol, then it should also take a look at the symbols of SP (cycle), BJP (lotus), Congress (hand) and RLD (hand pump).
"Hand pump, the election symbol of the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal, had been installed in the villages from government funds only and the EC should object to it also," he added.