Quraishi defends cover-up directive to BSP

Quraishi said the decision was in accordance with the model code of conduct.

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday said
that the range of comments on its direction to cover statues
of Mayawati and elephant are not based on substance and are
misleading and suggest "a lack of understanding of facts".

The Commission, in a statement issued here, said its
order for draping the statues of Uttar Pradesh chief minister
Mayawati and elephant constructed in public places at
government expenses has been issued to ensure that a
level-playing field is provided to all political parties and
candidates during elections, as per the model code of conduct.

The Commission states, "there are standing instructions of
the Commission that images and photographs of the Prime
Minister, Chief Ministers, Ministers and other political
functionaries who are active in public life should not be
displayed in government buildings and premises as that would
have the effect of disturbing the level playing field vis-a
vis the functionaries of other political parties and

The Commission has clarified in 2009 that these
instructions do not apply to the images of national leaders,
poets and prominent historical figures of the past.

It stated that statues of elephant which is the reserved
election symbol of Bahujan Samaj Party and statues of Mayawati
who is the president of the party, constructed in public
places at government expenses, get covered in the EC

"Their continued display at public places during the
election period would be violative of the spirit of the Model
Code and would be against the principles of level playing
field for all parties and candidates. The Commission has taken
similar steps in the past also," the Commission stated.

It added that the issue of statues was the subject matter
of some complaints before the Commission in 2009, and in its
order of October 11, 2010, it had made it clear that at the
time of elections appropriate steps would be taken to see that
the statues do not disturb the level-playing field.


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