As instructed by her, the BSP on Sunday celebrated party chief Mayawati’s birthday in a modest way so that the model code of electoral conduct laid down by the Election Commission was undisturbed.
When Mayawati arrived at the decked-up state unit office, party national general secretary SC Mishra, close aide Naseemuddin Siddiqui and state chief Swami Prasad Maurya were there to welcome her.
The usual hustle and bustle was missing as the officers and supporters were subdued. When journalists told her she had not cut the cake, she shot back: “I arrived here after cake-cutting at home.”
“Due to elections, I have directed all party workers and well-wishers to celebrate my birthday with their families. As a birthday gift, I want an absolute majority in these elections too,” she said.
The issue of Mayawati’s statues and those of the party symbol elephant was the burning topic of the day.
Late on Saturday night, the EC in a letter to Mishra said: “In view of the admission by the BSP that the party established the statues, the commission may have to have a re-look on its earlier order.... Also the commission may need to re-look at the religious connections that you have sought to establish with your party symbol.”
The EC was replying to Mishra’s letter on January 12, alleging that its order to drape statues of Mayawati and elephants were discriminatory. The EC had rejected the contention.
With inputs from PTI