Statues of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati and her elephants — the election symbol of the BSP — installed at parks and memorials in the state will have to been covered till the assembly elections, chief election commissioner SY Quraishi announced Saturday.
Quraishi also directed the administration to cover the statues of other leaders, including former prime ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, to provide a level-playing field. The CEC said the statues of political leaders constructed with public money that could be used for political purpose would have to be covered.
The memorials and parks in Lucknow and Noida have been at the centre of controversies over the last few years.
Quraishi’s directive at the end of his two-day visit to the state drew applause from all major parties in the state, except the BSP. “The EC has directed covering of the statues, accepting the one-sided memorandum of anti-Dalit parties like the Congress, BJP and SP,” BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra said.
Mishra also announced the EC had ordered the removal of the state principal secretary (home) Kunwar Fateh Bahadur and the director general of police Brij Lal.
EC sources in Delhi said the move was on the cards but no formal instructions had been issued so far. Quraishi had earlier acknowledged there were complaints about some officers and a decision would be taken after reaching Delhi.