Cornered by the Supreme Court, the Uttar Pradesh government finally halted all construction activities at various sites where memorials to icons of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are being erected.
This followed stern directives of the Supreme Court that took serious note of "flagrant violation" of its directives on a lawsuit seeking suspension of all such construction activity.
The state government was completely shaken as the apex court summoned state Chief Secretary Atul Kumar Gupta for a personal appearance before the bench on November 4 to explain why work was not stopped despite repeated orders.
"We have stopped all construction work with immediate effect and that includes even those sites which were not subject matter of any pending writ petition," a top official in the chief minister's secretariat told IANS on Tuesday evening.
Denying any violation of the court orders, the official asserted, "There was no question of defying the honorable court's orders. We had brought all construction activity to a halt at each of the sites that were subject matter of the pending petitions."
"Work had, however, been allowed to be continued at the site of Lucknow's erstwhile Ambedkar Stadium, simply because the writ petition moved against its demolition had been formally withdrawn long back by the petitioner himself."
The official said, "Yet, since the court on Tuesday expressed the view that every work be stopped at all sites, we decided to abide by the wishes of the country's highest judicial institution."
Each of the memorial sites appeared quiet and desolate on Tuesday night - without the noise of machines and the glare of floodlights that otherwise enabled construction agencies to carry on their task 24x7.