Won’t pull down Maya statues, elephants: Akhilesh

The expensive giant statues of BSP supremo Mayawati and party symbol elephant in Uttar Pradesh will remain safe.

Lucknow: The expensive giant statues of BSP
supremo Mayawati and party symbol elephant in Uttar Pradesh
will remain safe with Samajwadi Party`s star campaigner Akhilesh
Yadav saying on Tuesday they will not be pulled down after the
change of guard in the state.

Yadav, who powered Samajwadi`s campaign to help his
father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to regain power,
had said in the midst of a poll campaign last year that there
would be no sign of these statues once his party gains power.

The 39-year-old engineer-turned politician spoke about
the statues and memorials of other dalit leaders facing no
threat when asked by reporters whether they will be pulled
down after the Samajwadi leadership remained on course to
dethrone arch rival Mayawati.

Akhilesh had said last year that Mayawati`s statues would
be pulled down after the UP polls in the same way as seen in
the recent cases of "dictators" in foreign countries.

"In the recent times, uprising in some countries against
dictators saw their statues being pulled down... In 2012, the
day Samajwadi Party government comes to power there would be
no sign of the grand statues of Mayawati," Yadav had said
while he was on Samajwadi Kranti Rath Yatra in the Bundelkhand

He had said that the places vacant in the parks where the
memorials were set up spending huge sums of money could have
been used for the construction of hospitals and education

After remaining draped for 52 days with cloth and
tarpaulin following an order of the Election Commission, 11
statues of Mayawati and over 200 in Lucknow and Noida, a Delhi
suburb, were uncovered on March 4.

The Election Commission had ordered the unveiling of
these statues after completion of the last phase of polling on
Saturday last.

The directives came following complaints from political
parties to the Election Commission that Mayawati is a living
leader and the elephant is poll symbol of ruling party BSP.

While the elephants were covered with plastic sheets
which were tied at all ends to prevent the sheets from
slipping, iron scaffoldings were put around the bigger jumbos
to prevent any kind of damage to them.

The exact cost of the mammoth exercise is yet to be
worked out, though it is estimated that it would have cost
over a crore.