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Statue row: EC playing ‘neutral umpire’, says CEC

Last Updated: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 21:43

Swati Chaturvedi

New Delhi: A day after Election Commission’s crucial order -- to drape the statues of UP Chief Minister Mayawati and BSP’s poll symbol - the elephant, till assembly polls in the state are over -- the Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi said it is playing the role of a "neutral umpire”.

Quraishi was speaking exclusively to Zeenews. “The Election Commission’s order to cover the statues is in compliance with the constitution and as per the model code of conduct for elections,” Quraishi said.

“We don’t have any problem with the statues. The idea is that no one should get political mileage”, he said.
“The statues were built on government land with government’s expenditure. So no political party has the right to use them as vehicle of publicity,” the CEC said adding “In election, publicity should be done with the expenditures of political parties, not with the government’s expenditure.”

Quraishi said that the Election Commission will ensure a "100% level playing field" in the elections any party which violates the model code of conduct will face the Election Commission. “This is the part of the duty of the Election Commission,” he said.

On its decision to transfer Brij Lal and Kunwar Fateh Bahadur from the post of DGP and Principal Secretary (Home), the Election Commissioner said that there were widespread public perceptions that the officers got out of the turn promotion because of their high political connections.
“The Election Commission has transferred Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and DGP during the last Assembly elections also”, he added.

Meanwhile, the state administration has started putting covers on the statues of UP Chief Minister Mayawati and BSP’s poll symbol, the elephant.

First Published: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 21:20

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