The ruling issued by the Election Commission to drape statues of UP Chief Minister Mayawati and the BSP’s symbol is aimed at bringing all political parties on a common platform. Contrary to expectations, this order did not go down well with the political parties which took exceptions to the EC’s decision. Therefore, doubts over the intentions of the Commission are bound to rise. It is logical to ask why the EC didn’t make its future line of action known to the government 15 months ago when the Mayawati government had started installing statues of elephants in various parks of Uttar Pradesh utilising public fund. The intention behind draping Mayawati effigy and elephant statues situated on roadsides and road intersections can be understood but what sense does it make to cover the lot in parks. Notably, the regular park visitors are already aware of the existence of these statues and moreover huge statues draped with curtains will make their presence felt all the more. Isn’t it strange the Election Commission did not pay any notice to the 4 percent reservation to minorities declared by the Central government on the eve of the announcement of Assembly elections in five states? Not only this, the EC preferred to maintain silence over the Centre’s decision, but made public only after the enactment of the Model Code of Conduct, to fill up the vacant seats for Dalit and Backward Castes.

Therefore, the BSP’s attack on the EC accusing it of ignoring the Dalit rights comes as no surprise. If the BSP continues to rake up the Commission’s decision, the EC’s motive behind the statue draping order will be defeated. The Election body furnished the reason of covering the statues as government money being used to construct the effigies on government land. But this reason fails to justify the order. It is wrong on the part of the Election Commission to assume that the mammoth statues of Mayawati have magnetic attraction to pull common man to the ballots and compel them to vote for BSP. The reaction received by the EC after passing the order should make the body realise that it needs to take utmost care in future before issuing a similar order. However, the Commission cannot be blamed for taking the decision to remove Director General of Police and Principal Secretary (Home) as the UP government and the two officials themselves were responsible for the cause. It was an open secret that the work and behaviour of these two individuals clearly indicated their biasness towards the BSP.