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Statues of Mayawati, elephants to be covered for UP polls

Last updated on: January 7, 2012 19:16 IST

Statues of Mayawati, elephants to be draped for UP polls

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The Election Commission on Saturday said that statues of Chief Minister Mayawati and elephants, the Bahujan Samaj Party's poll symbol, installed at a number of places in Uttar Pradesh would be covered during the state assembly elections.

"The commission has decided that statues of the CM and elephants will be draped," Chief Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi told reporters.

This would be implemented at the earliest as the matter was related to the model code of conduct, he said.

"The idea is that no one should get political mileage. During elections, even photos of leaders put up in offices are removed," the CEC said.

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The issue was raised by various political parties at the meetings with a team of the EC during its two-day visit to the state. The CEC said that during polls, even calendars bearing names of political leaders were removed.

Regarding opposition parties' demand for removal of some officers, Qureshi said the commission would decide after a thorough examination in Delhi.

"There was a complaint that the election machinery should be neutral," he said, adding directives had already been issued to remove officials posted at one place for more than three years.

Qureshi said that during the meetings, political parties raised several issues like politicisation of officers.

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There was anxiety and worry among political parties on matters related to black money and the movement of cash and liquor, he said.

Political parties also voiced concern over the use of religious places for hate speeches, the CEC said.

"They also demanded that instead of the state police, central forces should be used," he said.

The parties were assured that their neutral conduct would be ensured, the CEC said.

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Reviews with division-level officers were also held and they were told to maintain strict neutrality, said the CEC.

On unaccounted cash, the CEC said till today, unaccounted money worth Rs 7.5 crore had been seized in the state.  He said the Income Tax department has been deeply involved in checking the movement of cash at airports, hotels and through hawala operators.

"To keep a tight watch, 102 expenditure observers and 403 assistant observers from IT and revenue services are being deployed. Besides, 403 general observers will also be deployed," Qureshi said.

The CEC said a close watch would be kept on the production and sale of liquor.

 



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