The Election Commission has rejected the petitions demanding to freeze the election symbol of BSP, Elephant, and disqualification of the chief Minister Mayawati from contesting election in future.
While dismissing six petitions on October 11 the Election Commission said “at the time of elections the commission would no doubt take appropriate measures to see that statues of Mayawati and BSP symbol do not disturb the level playing field and give undue advantage to BSP vis-à-vis other political parties”.
In view of the display of elephants and statues of Chief Minister Mayawati at various memorials constructed in Lucknow and Noida, a writ petition in Supreme Court had sought to freeze the symbol and disqualification of Mayawati. The apex court had directed the EC in July 2010 to look into the matter.
In their petition Atul Kumar Singh, Kamal Kant Jaiswal, Ravi Kant and Sukumar said that state fund had been used in the installation of statutes of elephant and Mayawati in public places in Lucknow and Noida.
However the EC said that it could not interfere into the decisions taken by Vidhan Sabha through which the State Government had constructed memorials by using government money. The senior advocate and BSP MP Satish Chandra Mishra appeared on behalf of the party before the commission.
In its 21-page order the commission said it “is in dark as to the places where the statutes, particularly of the party symbol “elephant” have been installed and what is the number of such statutes installed in different places in UP”.
The commission further observed, “the state government has refused to furnish even the basic information as to where and how many of these statues have been installed. In fact even the commission even doesn’t know whether all the elephant statues which have been installed with public funds have their trunks raised in welcome posture, as averred by the BSP or lowered downwards”. “Thus on the facts available to the commission and the records adduced by the parties, the commission is not in a position to gauge the impact on the statues and the extent of such impact on the minds of the electors”, the EC said.
The EC said that the elephant symbol had been allocated to BSP for the entire country (except Assam) as it was a national party. This symbol had been allotted to BSP on the basis of the vote percent needed for a party to become a national level party. The EC has also dismissed the request to disqualify Mayawati from contesting elections in future and also to remove all the statues of Chief Minister and that of elephants from the memorials.