Statue case: EC moves SC against defiant stand of UP Govt

The Election Commission today moved the Supreme Court alleging that the "defiant" stand of the UP Government in not supplying details about the construction of statues of elephants and Chief Minister Mayawati.

Last Updated: Jun 03, 2010, 00:55 AM IST

New Delhi: The Election Commission today moved
the Supreme Court alleging that the "defiant" stand of the UP
Government in not supplying details about the construction of
statues of elephants and Chief Minister Mayawati in the state
was coming in its way of deciding on the misuse of BSP`s party
symbol.

"The Commission is handicapped by the defiant and
uncooperative stance of Uttar Pradesh," the application filed
by the EC said.

The EC said the apex court on February 22, had directed it
to adjudicate within three months whether installation of
statues of Mayawati and elephants, which is Bahujan Samaj
Party`s election symbol, at various parks in the state, at the
cost of public money was violative of election law.

The Uttar Pradesh Government and BSP responded to the
three petitions seeking freezing of the election symbol and
disqualifying Mayawati from contesting elections, the EC said.
However, it said the reply was not satisfactory and the
state government was directed to furnish the number of
statues of elephants and of Mayawati installed at public or
private places using government funds between 2007 to 2010
along with the photographs and video recordings of such
statues which were not supplied.

The EC said the state government which at first had stated
that it was collecting information took a "strange" stand
later and questioned its jurisdiction in seeking such details.

Under these circumstances, the Commission sought a
direction for the state government to supply the information
and at the same time requested the court to extend the time
for deciding the issue.

The state government has maintained that the statues were
not the replica of the election symbol "elephant" allotted by
the Commission to the BSP as the party`s symbol shows elephant
with its trunk lowered while the statues have the trunk raised
in a welcome posture which are found in many religious and
historical places.

The BSP in its reply said the statues of Mayawati were
installed as per the wish of her mentor and party founder
Kanshi Ram.

The state government had also taken the same stand in the
apex court that the statues of elephants are not the election
symbol of BSP but a welcome symbol.

The apex court had asked the Commission to decide the
issue after the petitioners had submitted before it that 60
statues of elephants were being installed by Uttar Pradesh
government at a cost of Rs 52.20 crore at public places by
utilising state funds.

The PIL filed by two advocates in apex court have accused
the UP government of misusing public money for installation of
statues of Dalit leaders, including Mayawati, and the party
symbol at various places in the state.

The PIL had sought a direction to restrain the Mayawati
government from installing her statues and those of elephants
at public places and demanded a CBI probe into the alleged
misuse of public funds.

The advocates had claimed that the total money used by the
Mayawati government from the state budget for 2008-09 and
2009-10 for such projects was to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore.

-PTI