The expensive giant statues of BSP supremo Mayawati and party symbol
elephant in Uttar Pradesh will remain safe with Samajwadi's star
campaigner Akhilesh Yadav saying today they will not be pulled down after
the change of guard in the state.
Yadav, who powered Samajwadi's
campaign to help his father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to
regain power, had said in the midst of a poll campaign last year that
there would be no sign of these statues once his party gains power.
39-year-old engineer-turned politician spoke about the statues and
memorials of other Dalit leaders facing no threat when asked by reporters
whether they will be pulled down after the Samajwadi leadership remained
on course to dethrone arch rival Mayawati.
Akhilesh had said last
year that Mayawati's statues would be pulled down after the UP polls in
the same way as seen in the recent cases of "dictators" in foreign
"In the recent times, uprising in some countries
against dictators saw their statues being pulled down...In 2012, the day
Samajwadi Party government comes to power there would be no sign of the
grand statues of Mayawati," Yadav had said while he was on Samajwadi
Kranti Rath Yatra in the Bundelkhand region.
He had said that the
places vacant in the parks where the memorials were set up spending huge
sums of money could have been used for the construction of hospitals and
After remaining draped for 52 days with
cloth and tarpaulin following an order of the Election Commission, 11
statues of Mayawati and over 200 in Lucknow and Noida, a Delhi suburb,
were uncovered on March 4.
The Election Commission had ordered
the unveiling of these statues after completion of the last phase of
polling on Saturday last.
The directives came following
complaints from political parties to the Election Commission that Mayawati
is a living leader and the elephant is poll symbol of ruling party BSP.
the elephants were covered with plastic sheets which were tied at all ends
to prevent the sheets from slipping, iron scaffoldings were put around the
bigger jumbos to prevent any kind of damage to them.
cost of the mammoth exercise is yet to be worked out, though it is
estimated that it would have cost over a crore.