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Election Commission's order regarding covering statues of elephants and statues of Ms Mayawati in U.P - Sukanya Kadyan

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Election Commission's order regarding covering statues of elephants and statues of Ms Mayawati in U.P - Sukanya Kadyan Powered By Docstoc
					                       ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA
                   Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001
No. 464/UP-LA/2012                                                  Dated : 8th January, 2012



                                             ORDER


       Petitions were filed before the Election Commission in 2009 by Shri Ravi Kant and Shri
Sukumar, Advocates, the Common Cause and the Rashtra Nirman, praying, inter alia, for
freezing of the symbol ‘Elephant’ allotted to the Bahujan Samaj Party, on the ground that the
statues of elephants and the statues of Ms Mayawati, the President of the Party put up at the
expense of the government, in various public places in different parts of the State jeopardized
the concept of free and fair election.

       The Commission, in its order dated 11th October 2010, while holding that the reliefs
claimed in the petitions were not capable of being granted at that time, observed:

       “However, at the time of elections, the Commission would, no doubt, take
appropriate steps and measures to see that the statutes of Ms. Mayawati and BSP’s symbol
‘elephant’ do not disturb the level playing field and give undue advantage to BSP vis-à-vis
other political parties.”

       The said order dated 11th October 2010, was also placed before the Hon’ble Supreme
Court, in connection with Writ Petition (Civil) No. 266 of 2009 (Ravi Kant and anr Vs State of
Uttar Pradesh and others).
       The Commission has announced the schedule of general election to the Legislative
Assembly of Uttar Pradesh on 24th December, 2011.
       At the time of the general election to the House of the People in 2009, the Commission
had issued instructions, vide its letter No. 437/6/INST/2008- CC&BE, dated 28th March, 2009, to
the effect that no photograph of the Prime Minster, Chief Ministers, Ministers and other political
functionaries should be displayed in any government/public building. In its subsequent circular
letter dated 1st April 2009, the Commission clarified that the underlying intention of the
instructions in the letter of 28th March, 2009 was that the images of the political functionaries,
who have deep influence on the minds of the electors and many of whom are still active in public
life should not be displayed in government buildings and premises as that would have the effect
of disturbing the level playing field vis-à-vis the political functionaries of other parties and
candidates. It was made clear that while the photographs of Prime Minister, Chief Ministers,
Ministers and other political functionaries should not be displayed, the instructions did not apply
with regard to images of national leaders, poets, and prominent historical personalities of the
past, and the President of India and the Governors. Pertinent to add here that the abovementioned
writ petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court was filed by Shri Ravi Kant in the wake of the
instructions of the Commission in its letters dated 28th March, 2009 and 1st April 2009.
       The Commission, after taking all the aspects of the matter into consideration, and
considering the need to ensure level playing field for all political parties and candidates in the
interest of free and fair election, has directed that each and every statue of elephant and each and
every statue of Ms Mayawati, constructed/erected in public places in the State of Uttar Pradesh,
at the government expense, which were the subject matter of the abovementioned writ petition
No 266 of 2009       before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, shall be suitably covered so as to ensure
that these statues do not influence the minds of the electors disturbing the level playing field
during the current general election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
       The expense for covering the statues will be borne by the local authorities under whose
jurisdiction the various statues have been erected. The whole work of veiling the statues shall be
completed by 5 PM on 11th January, 2012. The District Election Officer of the Districts
concerned shall submit to the Commission a compliance report in this regard by 7 PM on 11th
January, 2012.

                                                                                           By order,


                                                                                  (R.K.Srivastava)
                                                                               Principal Secretary.

       To
                 The Chief Secretary,
                 Govt. of Uttar Pradesh,
                 Lucknow.


       Copy to the Chief Electoral Officer, UP, with the direction to follow-up and ensure that
the compliance report is submitted by 7 P M on 11th January, 2012.

				
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Description: Election Commission's order regarding covering statues of elephants and statues of Ms Mayawati in U.P - Abhishek Kadyan, Media Adviser to OIPA in India