3 days, 100 statues, 10 parks, and multiplied


By Wednesday 5 pm, the Election Commission wants "each and every statue of elephant" and "each and every statue of Ms Mayawati", built in Uttar Pradesh, with public money, in public places, "suitably covered".

That's three days from now and after mulling all of today over how to do the needful for 10 statues of the chief minister (each about 15 feet high) and 90 stone elephants (about the same height), installed in 10 memorials and parks of Lucknow, the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) was none the wiser.

And that's just the big elephants — there are smaller ones inside and outside the memorials and parks — and just the state capital.

Lucknow District Magistate Anil Kumar Sagar was wringing his hands over another matter: the Election Commission letter to him made no mention of the statues of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi had told the media Saturday that their statues would not escape its drive.

Officials of the LDA's committee for "management, security and maintenance of memorials, museums, institutions, parks and upvans" pored over availability of polythene sheets to cover the statues, the efficacy of a brown fabric, the numbers under consideration and the metres to be multiplied today.

Finally, in the evening, Bhawna Singh, Manager (Public Relations), said they would hand over the work of draping to a private firm.

Assistant Manager Manish Kumar Maurya has an idea though of the task at hand, having measured the elephants: length 7,200 mm, width 4,200 mm, height 4,600 mm. They haven't got around to Mayawati yet.

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