After BJP and Congress, chief election commissioner SY Quraishi has now taken on the BSP for protesting against the election commission's order to wrap the elephant and party supremo Mayawati's statues to ensure level playing field.
Quraishi asked Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati should think before criticising the EC order and said the commission has issued similar orders to remove or cover pictures of chief ministers, Prime Minister and ruling party leaders during elections.
“She is a senior leader. She should think before making such comments," Quraishi said when asked about Mayawati's criticism on the commissions order to cover statues of BSP's poll symbol 'elephant' and those of her own.
Mayawati had dubbed the commission’s decision as "one-sided" and an insult to party founder Kanshiram.
Quraishi advised the BSP not to make adverse comments against the commission as other political parties can also demand raising pedestals in government parks for displaying their poll symbols.
The CEC explained that the commission was trying to create a level playing field for all political parties and there was nothing extraordinary about the order. The commission has instructed the UP government in October 2010 to cover the statues during elections while rejecting a petition seeking demolition of the statues.
“Should we not cover the symbol of a political party or (the statue) of its leader just because it is big in size and spectacular,” Quraishi asked.
The commission issued a detailed explanation for its decision to wrap the statues and said Kanshi Ram’s statues have not been covered because the rule does not apply to dead leaders.
The commission also brushed aside Mayawati’s claim that it was anti-Dalit and expressed distress at her claims.
“It (the commission) expects a higher sense of responsibility and Constitutional decorum from major political parties and their leaders,” the statement read.
The statement also said that the commission was not willing to engage further on the issue during the election process.