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Deadline over, Maya parks closed for public

06:17 AM Jun 02, 2019 |

Apparently, it has been done to avoid any further controversy since there are many small statues and elephant motifs in these parks that cannot be covered in any way

Lucknow: Within hours of the socalled completion of the draping of statues of chief minister Mayawati and her partys election symbol elephant, all the nine parks in Lucknow where the statues have been installed, were closed till further orders.

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While there has been no official government order regarding this sudden closure, the guards at the massive gates at all the parks said no one was to be allowed in as per orders from higher authorities.

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Wednesday was the deadline given out by the Election Commission to the state government to cover the statues and dozens of workers had been working round- the- clock to ensure compliance of the order.

However, late on Wednesday evening, the gates of all parks were closed and locks put on them. There are nine such parks including Manyavar Kanshiram Green Eco Garden at VIP Road, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal, Gomtinagar, Smriti Upvan, Ashiana, Kanshiram Smarak, Jail Road which were closed on Thursday after the draping work ended.

Officials of the Lucknow Development Authority, which is the agency for its maintenance, avoided any comment on this development, but a report quoting the Lucknow district magistrate Anil Kumar Sagar said although the EC had ordered the draping of statues, the administration decided to close down the parks completely. Apparently it had been done to avoid any further controversy since there are many small statues and elephant motifs in these parks that cannot be covered in any way.

While the statues of Mayawati have been covered at all places with plyboards, elephants have been covered with tarpaulin.

It would appear that since the covered statues drew as much interest as before, the purpose of the EC directive could only be served if no one could see the parks from inside at all. The state administration has apparently done some clever thinking by ordering the parksalt39 closure till the Assembly elections are over.

But the big question is what will be the approach of a non- BSP government, in case one is formed after the results are announced, towards the parks and statues made at huge government cost, and harbouring the statues of a political leader and her election symbol.

Meanwhile, the BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra said on Thursday that the EC directive of covering up the statues was one- sided, unjustified and a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.

In a letter to the EC he said that the decision was taken on the representation of the Samajwadi Party, the Congress and the BJP, while the BSP was not given the chance to put forward its view. ” The Dalits and backwards feel cheated by the decision. The decision is violation of Article 14 of the constitution, which provides right of equality. Similar decisions should be taken against other parties also,” he added.

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