Mayawati in new trouble over elephant statues
Category » Nation Posted On Monday, February 22, 2010
New Delhi, Feb 22:
First, it was her memorial parks all over Lucknow that ran into
trouble in the Supreme Court. Now, hundreds of statues of elephants in
these parks are Mayawati's gigantic new problem.
The elephant is the symbol of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP.
The Supreme Court has given the Election Commission three months to
decide whether these statues violate its poll code.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak
Verma and B S Chauhan granted three months to the Election Commission
to decide the issue even as Uttar Pradesh government contended that
the statues of elephants are not the election symbol of BSP, but a
"We have given reply to the Election Commission that the elephants
installed in parks are not the election symbol of the party as
alleged, but a welcome symbol. Even in the North Block and South
Block, you have elephants statues," senior advocate and Mayawati's
close aide S C Mishra told the Bench.
Mishra, who is the General Secretary of BSP and appearing along with
senior advocate Harish Salve for Uttar Pradesh government, said
statues of elephants are also found in temples and "the distinction is
Ravi Kant, a lawyer who has taken Mayawati to court over her statues
says, "The petition is about the misuse of public money and
installation of BSP symbols in memorials."
Mayawati's many memorials to Dalit icons, including herself, are also
being studied by the Supreme Court. The parks, being constructed for
close to 2000 crores, use taxpayers' money. The court has so far
slammed Mayawati repeatedly over approving the expenditure in a state
assembly controlled by her. In September, the court asked Mayawati to
stop all construction at these memorials till it delivers it verdict.
Days later, however, media reports, including one by NDTV, found the
court's orders being violated. After the court expressed its anger,
Mayawati's government apologized, claiming that it was restricting its
work to "repairs" rather than new construction.
Hours after her representative issued this clarification in court,
Mayawati threatened at a public rally that any attempt to stop her
memorials would lead to a law and order problem across the country.
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