LUCKNOW: Accusing the Election Commission of buckling under Congress pressure, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today said its direction to have her statues and those of BSP symbol 'elephant' covered were "anti-dalit" and "casteist".
The BSP chief said that following its constitutional responsibility with honesty and dedication, the EC should have issued directives to get Congress' poll symbol 'hand' and RLD's symbol 'handpump' covered like the statues of elephant.
"If the EC does not take right decisions regarding symbols of these two parties, then the people will consider this decision (with regard to BSP) taken with an anti-dalit and casteist mentality and under pressure of the Congress-led government at the Centre," she claimed.
It was a low-key 56th birthday today for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, who used the occasion to release the list of 403 candidates for the coming state polls.
"Tickets have been given to 88 SC candidates, 113 OBC, 85 religious minorities, specially Muslims, 117 upper caste, of which 74 are Brahmins and 33 Chattriyas," she said adding this was to honour the concept of equality.
The BSP is contesting on its own the assembly elections of UP, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
Unlike in the past when a huge cake was cut on her birthday amid state-wide celebrations and she announced a number of new projects, the UP CM did not do so this year keeping in view the model code of conduct ahead of next month's Assembly polls.
Mayawati said, "due to elections, I have directed all party workers and well wishers to celebrate my birthday within their families. As a birthday gift, I want absolute majority in these elections too".
She said, "the Election Commission made a one-sided decision to cover statues of elephants and those of mine installed to honour the will of Kanshiram, without hearing my party".
"People of 'sarvsamaj' associated with the movement and other intellectuals are considering it to be a decision taken with casteist and anti-dalit mentality," she said.
Referring to an EC order, the BSP supremo said that the Commission had removed two officers of the dalit community on the complaints of opposition parties.
"Statues of elephant were installed as per the Indian culture and not because of being the BSP symbol. These statues have been installed to welcome the visitors," she claimed.
She said that despite the feelings of her party, her government complied with the EC order of covering her statues, installed as per the will of Kanshiram, and those of elephants, erected in accordance with Indian culture.
She said it was "evident" from the reply of Chief Election Commission last night given to the party that it was a warning to it but she maintained that the decision was based on "wrong facts".