SC''s fiat to EC on plea to freeze BSP symbol
Mon, Mar 22 09:15 PM
New Delhi, Mar 22(PTI) The Supreme Court today directed the Election Commission to club together and hear various applications filed by individuals seeking derecognition of the BSP''s election symbol "elephant" for its alleged misuse by the Mayawati government. A bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice Deepak Verma passed the direction while dealing with the PIL filed by two advocates Ravi Kant and Sukumar accusing the UP government of misusing public money for installation of statues of the Dalit leaders, including Mayawati, and the party symbol elephant at various places in the state.
The PIL had sought a direction to restrain the Mayawati government from installing her statues and those of elephants at public places and demanded a CBI probe into the alleged misuse of public funds. The advocate had claimed the total money used by the Mayawati government from the state budget for 2008-09 and 2009-10 for such projects was to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore.
Subsequently, certain other individuals had also moved the EC seeking action against the BSP which said it would decide on the applications in April. Meanwhile, the Election panel told the apex court that it has rejected the application of one Manoj Agnihotri seeking freezing of election symbols of political parties like the Congress, BJP, BSP and the SP for allegedly using them in official programmes.
Counsel Meenakshi Arora told the bench that Agnihotri was vague, unsubstantiated and unrelated to the powers exercised by the Election Commission. Agnihotri had alleged that the political parties were issuing advertisements in newspapers, carrying out propaganda of their official government programmes in the name of their political leaders to further their own party interests.