The elephant motifs and her four faced statues in the company of Dalit greats were Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s attempt to immortality. So, on Sunday, when acting on an Election Commission directive the departments that built her monuments came to mask them, they triggered politics and drama. In all, nearly 100 statues had to be covered in Lucknow and Noida.
First, the officials ran out of sheets and ideas. Then came the realisation that the Election Commission was yet to send an official order for covering the statues. So the covers came off. But, the Lucknow District Magistrate said in the evening that they have received the order and it will be implemented Monday onwards.
The Election Commission’s directive virtually endorses the Congress’ stand that the statues were Mayawati’s campaign material. Campaigning in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi drove the association between the elephant and Mayawati’s misrule. “The miraculous elephant which Mayawati has created, eats out of poor people’s pockets,” he said.
The BSP is already turning adversity into an advantage, signalling to the Dalits that the party’s opponents are targeting them and not Mayawati or her monuments.