Monday, January 16, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Mayawati slams Election Commission as casteist, anti-Dalit

Piyush Srivastava Lucknow, January 16, 2012 | UPDATED 13:35 IST
Mayawati slams Election Commission as casteist, anti-Dalit

The Election Commission ordered over 200 statues of Mayawati and the
elephant to be covered.

BSP supremo Mayawati on Sunday described the Election Commission's
order to cover her statues and those of her party's election symbol,
the elephant, as "casteist and anti-Dalit".

Accusing the EC of buckling under pressure from the Congress, she said
following its constitutional responsibility with honesty, the EC
should have issued directives to get Congress' poll symbol and RLD's
symbol 'handpump' covered like the statues of elephant.

"If the EC does not take right decisions regarding symbols of these
two parties, then the people will consider this decision (with regard
to BSP) taken with an anti-Dalit and casteist mentality and under
pressure from the Congress-led government at the Centre," Mayawati
said at a press conference convened on the occasion of her 56th
birthday on Sunday.

"The members of Sarwasamaj related to the movement of the BSP and many
intellectuals believe that it was a wrong decision. They hold that the
EC should refrain from adopting such casteist and anti-Dalit posture,"
she added.

In a lighter vein, she commented that the EC's order helped her party
by providing publicity. "The EC has saved several crores of rupees of
the BSP by publicising me and the elephant, election symbol of the
party," she said.

Mayawati also distributed a letter written to the EC, in which BSP
general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra has said the statues were
covered without giving opportunity to the BSP to present its case.

"It is the consistent stand of the BSP that all such statues have been
installed by the government on the basis of unanimous legislative
mandate through budgetary provisions," Mishra had written.

Sniping back at her, the Congress said if the statues had been left
uncovered, people would have voted with greater vengeance against BSP.
"The BSP may actually end up being benefited from the (EC's) order
because people in UP are so upset with this government that seeing her
statues and her party symbols in public, they would have voted against
Mayawati government with greater vengeance," Congress spokesperson
Rashid Alvi said in Delhi.

"Covering of her statue as well as that of her party symbol could
actually dilute that simmering anger and she may be saved from
people's strong disapproval," Alvi said, adding that her criticism of
the EC was unfortunate.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said the EC should have "frozen" BSP's
party symbol. It was a low-key 56th birthday for chief minister
Mayawati, who used the occasion to release the list of 403 candidates
for the coming state polls.

Unlike in the past when a huge cake was cut on her birthday amid
statewide celebrations and she announced a number of new projects, the
UP CM did not do so this year keeping in view the model code of
conduct ahead of next month's assembly polls.

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