New Delhi: Operation ‘Cover-up Elephant Statues’ got off to a not so promising start at the Dalit Prerna Sthal in Noida on Sunday, after according to one news report, the plastic sheets proved to be too small for the task at hand.
There are twenty life-size elephant statues outside the central dome at Noida’s iconic 33-hectare park that was recently inaugurated, on 14 October, by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in a grand ceremony.
There are a dozen more, smaller versions, at the two giant water fountains in the park. Not to mention, the tens of elephant heads that have been installed at various points in the park.
And then, of course, covering up the towering statue of the BSP (Bahujan Samajwadi Party) supremo, as per the Election Commission’s directive, is going to be a tall order for the officials. It remains to be seen whether the statues of Ambdekar and Kanshi Ram, that stand next to Mayawati statutes will also be covered up.
This is not the first time CM Mayawati’s project of installing statues of elephants (the BSP party symbol) has raised a controversy. The BSP had previously countered the allegation on the grounds that elephants were a popular symbol of Indian culture.
Coming back to Noida’s Dalit Prerna Sthal. The Times of India reports that there was some confusion as to why the Noida officials had left without finishing the job on Sunday. “Initially, sources said that work had stopped as there was confusion as to which department would complete the task. Another theory floated around that the district administration could not figure out the amount of cloth and plastic that would be used for covering the statues,” TOI reports
The District Magistrate, however, later in the evening confirmed to the media that the work was left unfinished for lack of specific guidelines from the EC.
He told reporters that “I got the same (guidelines and deadlines) in the evening. The guidelines suggest that all elephants will have to be covered by 5 pm on 11 January. The district administration will have to submit a compliance report to the Commission (EC) by 7 pm.”