The election commissioner chief SY Quraishi on Saturday, Jan 7, instructed the state administration to drape all the statues and Mayawati's party symbol elephant installed at several places in Uttar Pradesh by Jan 11.
"The task is huge and would require both the procurement of material and arrangement of manpower. We will do our best to get the work completed latest by Wednesday evening," said Anil Kumar Sagar Lucknow District Magistrate.
The election commission's decision thrilled the opposition parties. "This is the right step. After all, Mayawati's statues are all over the place together with those of elephants in the several parks and memorials created by her with government funds worth thousands of crores. How can those be kept open when we are not even allowed to put up posters or banners," said Shiv Pal Yadav, samajwadi party leader.
"If elephants have to be wrapped up because elephant is also the BSP symbol and the Election Commission thinks the statues can influence voters, then why don't they cover every lotus growing in ponds and not allow any individual on the street to raise his hand," said Swami Prasad Maurya, BSP spokesperson. He referred lotus as it is BJP's symbol and hand is Congress's symbol.