While calling the Election Commission (EC) order on draping elephants, the BSP symbol, and her statues “anti-Dalit”, UP chief minister Mayawati on Sunday said the controversy had proved beneficial for her party.
“Khula haathi laakh ka, aur bandh haathi shava laakh ka” (An open elephant is worth a lakh, when covered it turns even more worthwhile for us). Without spending a penny there was huge and free publicity of the elephant,” she said.
“The decision (to drape) was taken by the EC under pressure from the anti-Dalit Congress-led government at the Centre,” Mayawati said, adding, “the covering of the statues has charged up the supporters of the BSP”.
She said the EC should take note of other parties’ symbols.
“The statues of people dead or living installed at public or private places make a similar impact on the voter. The statues of the elephant have been erected keeping in mind the Indian culture of welcoming tourists visiting the parks and memorials.”
“The Congress government in Haryana has erected a 45-foot-high, 50-tonne revolving statue of the hand (the party’s symbol) in a park at Chandigarh. Similarly, handpumps, the symbol of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, have been installed in hundreds of villages and towns. The lotus, the symbol of the BJP, is used in religious rituals. The BSP has urged the EC to cover up the hand statue as well as the handpumps but it has not taken any action yet,” Mayawati said.