January 11 is set as the deadline by the Election Commission to drape the statues of Mayawati and the elephants (the BSP’s election symbol) in Uttar Pradesh and it raises many eye brows on the issue whether Mayawati and her elephants would come back to power and continue their reign in the state?
As per Opinion Poll by Star News-Nielsen for Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party will be the front runner in the 2012 while BSP will suffer a major setback. Congress was seen to be improving a lot in several areas despite spate of scam and corruption cases against its ministers. The report also suggests that Mayawati’s plan of dividing UP in 4 different states found a lot of support in public, especially in the areas of Purvanchal, but according to Star News, it is not going to translate into votes for the party. The poll predicts that BSP will get 120 seats (-86), SP 135 seats (+38), Congress 68 (+46) and BJP 65 (+14).
After addressing massive election rallies in U.P, Congress claimed that AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi with his ongoing campaign would secure majority in the upcoming assembly elections. On Mayawati’s recent sacking of ministers, AICC spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said “She thought of removing them only days before elections. Such gimmicks do not work. It is clear that like her council of ministers has crumbled, her five-year rule is also crumbling and she is not going to come back to power.”
Much drama was seen when the exercise of draping the massive statues began as the officials ran out of sheets to cover the giant statues and as they also ran out of ideas on how to effectively go about the task.
As per reports a confusion prevailed between two agencies — the UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam (UPRNN), which has constructed the parks and erected the statues and the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA), which has been entrusted with the upkeep of the memorials, parks and statues. The statues which UPRNN had covered on Sunday were unveiled again by the LDA staff by evening. Similar confusion delayed the work in Noida as well.
When the statues were not draped even after the orders from the EC, UP Congress President Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, “The officials are deliberately not covering the statues to give as much political mileage as possible to the BSP.” Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan said, “Even two days after the EC’s orders, the state administration is hesitating to cover the statues. Obviously, these officials either fear Mayawati or are delaying the work deliberately,” reported DNA.
The Election Commission says the decision to cover up the statues is to ensure free and fair elections, but many have expressed skepticism over whether it will achieve its purpose. Actor Anupam Kher tweeted, “A covered Mayawati statue will get more attention than an uncovered one. People will say – Oh that is Mayawati’s statue covered.” Author Chetan Bhagat was quoted saying in NDTV, “Either you don’t let them erect statues first place, or let them be. Poor people need blankets more than the statues need drapes. Doesn’t draping the elephant statues in Lucknow bring even more attention to them?”
The question really is, if Mayawati rises back to power then the statues could be unveiled as a mark to her re-entry as the ruling power but what happens if BSP doesn’t see the sunlight and fails to come to power? Would the statues never be unveiled until she rises back to power again?
- BSP heeds EC order, Maya’s statues covered (ibnlive.in.com)
- Politics in India, a Safe Haven for Criminals (ktrmurali.wordpress.com)
- War of Words (ktrmurali.wordpress.com)