Mayawati's statues, BSP symbols to be draped today after Election Commission's order

Lucknow, New Delhi: The elephant motifs and her four faced statues in the company of Dalit greats were Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's attempt at immortality.

So, on Sunday, when acting on an Election Commission directive the departments that built her monuments came to mask them, they triggered politics and drama.

In all, nearly 100 statues had to be covered in Lucknow and Noida.

First, the officials ran out of sheets and ideas. Then came the realisation that the Election Commission was yet to send an official order for covering the statues. So the covers came off. But, the Lucknow District Magistrate said in the evening that they have received the order and it will be implemented Monday onwards.

The Election Commission's directive virtually endorses the Congress' stand that the statues were Mayawati's campaign material. Campaigning in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi drove the association between the elephant and Mayawati's misrule.

"The miraculous elephant which Mayawati has created, eats out of poor people's pockets," he said.

The BSP is already turning adversity into an advantage, signalling to the Dalits that the party's opponents are targeting them and not Mayawati or her monuments.

"Will the Election Commission also ban the cycle during the elections in the state?" asked BSP leader SC Mishra.

Surprisingly, not all political players are with Rahul Gandhi, or the Election Commission order on covering the statues. And that includes Mayawati's rivals.

"The Election Commission works abruptly," said JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav.

"The covering of the statues of the elephants and Mayawati appears to be very irrational," said CPI leader D Raja.

The monuments with Mayawati statues, surrounded by figures from the history of struggle for the oppressed were and are loaded in political symbolism. But, will mere covering them in sheets of polythene alter the course of politics in UP? Or will Mayawati turn the covered statues into a political weapon to target the sabotage of her dreams.

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