Finally breaking her silence on the controversy over covering of her statues and that of elephants in dalit memorials on the order of the Election Commission (EC), UP chief minister Mayawati on Sunday devoted much of her birthday speech to hit out at EC officials. She said that EC’s decision to cover statutes in dalit memorial built by her government was one-sided and unfair. Unlike the grand celebrations on her birthdays in previous years, this time the event was a low-key affair because of election code of conduct. However, Mayawati used the opportunity to launch her election campaign by declaring the list of candidates for the elections to be held in February.
Mayawati said that the elephants in dalit memorial are in welcome posture with their trunk upside while BSP’s symbol is elephant with trunk down. The Commission deemed the elephants in the memorial to be BSP’s symbol on the complaint of opposition parties without giving her party a chance to put its defence. She also said, when BSP lodged official protest with the EC, the latter has struck back by issuing a notice to the party with a threat to freeze BSP’s symbol. She said that this reflects anti-dalit mindset of not only opposition parties, Central government but also of the people in the EC.
Regarding installation of her statues in dalit memorials, Mayawati said that it is as per the will of BSP founder late Kanshiram. “Mananiya Kanshiram ji wanted my statue on his side to be installed in dalit memorial,” she said. Covering of statues and anti-dalit attitude of the opposition parties and the EC has filled dalits with anger in the state and they will give a befitting reply to everyone in the coming assembly elections.