In a relief to UP Chief Minister Mayawati, the Election Commission has rejected the plea for putting a freeze on her party symbol 'Elephant' and seeking her disqualification.
Turning down the plea of two advocates, the EC said it would take "appropriate steps and measures" to see that the statues of Mayawati and her party symbol do not disturb the level-playing field during elections.
The EC's order came on a petition filed in July last year in which the advocates, Ravi Kant and Sukumkar, contended that the statues of elephant and Mayawati were installed in public places in Lucknow and Noida with the money spent from the state exchequer.
The petitioners sought freezing of the election symbol and wanted another symbol to be given to BSP and that Mayawati be disqualified from contesting elections "as several of her statues will always remain to continue to create an unequal playing ground for her opponents" during elections.
"At the time of elections, the Commission would, no doubt, take appropriate steps and measures to see that the statutes of Mayawati and BSP symbol elephant do not disturb the level-playing field and give undue advantage to BSP vis-a-vis other parties," the Commission said in its 21-page order.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the Commission to decide the issue after the petitioners had submitted before it that 60 statues of elephants were being installed by Uttar Pradesh government at a cost of Rs 52.20 crore at public places by utilising state funds.