Lucknow play stopped because lead character resembles Mayawati
Anant Zanane, Updated: January 25, 2012 12:54 IST
Lucknow: A woman named Maya , who loves her solid- gold sandals and
has a pet elephant, is the lead character of a play being staged in
Lucknow. Not for long. Local officials say the drama has to take a
break because of similarities to the Chief Minister, Mayawati, whose
party symbol is the elephant.
Uttar Pradesh votes soon; the model code of conduct is in place. That
means parties cannot announce any policy that could influence voters,
and the party in power cannot use public platforms for promotion.
Anil Sagar, the District Magistrate of Lucknow, said that allowing
performances of the play, directed by Mukesh Verma, would violate that
code. Mr Verma says his heroine is in no way based on the Chief
Minister. The elephant in the play eats people on occasion; "what goes
in at one end sometimes comes out the other as gold bricks," a
character says of the jumbo.
A WikiLeaks cable had US officials claiming that they were told by
journalists that Mayawati sent a plane to Mumbai to bring her a pair
of her favourite brand of sandals. In recent weeks, the outsized
elephants that are herded into public parks that serve as memorials to
her have been covered up with plastic sheets upon the orders of the
Election Commission. The elephants, according to the Commission, are
an unfair advertisement for Mayawati. Many parties including her own
have disagreed, describing the move as excessive and illogical.
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