Lucknow: BSP chief Mayawati on Monday alleged that the Election Commission of India was acting under pressure with hidden agenda, to enforce an "unconstitutional" 48-hour poll campaigning ban on her, which prevented her from appealing to voters to dethrone the BJP in Uttar Pradesh by voting for the SP-BSP alliance.
“The unconstitutional decision of Election Commission appears to have been taken under pressure. The hidden intention behind the decision is not to let me appeal to the people of ‘Bahujan Samaj’ to vote against the BJP in elections and dethrone it,” said Mayawati in a press conference in Lucknow.
The poll panel had earlier on Monday imposed a bar on the BSP supremo beginning Tuesday 6 am for her alleged controversial remarks.
Mayawati said, “The Election Commission doesn’t want me to make an appeal to the people not to vote for the BJP. Had it not been the case, then it should have barred me from campaigning not from tomorrow (Tuesday) but from a day after."
She also said that in the showcase notice issued on 11 April the commission had nowhere alleged that she delivered inciting speech and had also not provided her with the recording of her speech.
“Nowhere in the show cause notice was it alleged that I have delivered an inciting speech. It only alleged that I was asking vote in name of one community. Neither did Election Commission provide me with the CD of my speech,” said Mayawati.
“The Election Commission has given a one-sided decision. I have been denied the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression. This day will be known as a black day in the history of Election Commission,” said Mayawati.
Responding on the almost similar such ban over Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, she said that the two cannot be compared since he is not the party chief, whereas she is.
“It doesn’t make any difference to BJP as Adityanath is not their party president, but I am the chief of my party. Meanwhile, Election Commission has given full freedom to BJP president Amit Shah and other BJP leaders,” said Mayawati. The BSP supremo also said, “If we get a chance of forming the government at the Centre, then we will pay it back with interest.”
Taking note of their alleged objectionable statements in speeches, the Election Commission on Monday barred Adityanath and Mayawati from election campaigning for 72 hours and 48 hours respectively, for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
Election Commission, citing Article 324 of the Constitution, has barred both Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print and social media) in connection with the ongoing elections.
The commission observed: “Mayawati in her impugned speech, has appealed to secure votes on religious lines that tantamount to violation of provisions of ‘General Conduct’ of “Model Code of Conduct, for the guidance of political parties and candidates”.
Mayawati made the alleged objectionable statements during the public rally on 7 April at Deoband, Saharanpur.
SP, BSP and RLD are fighting the Lok Sabha elections in alliance in Uttar Pradesh, which witnessed first phase of polling on 11 April for its eight seats. Remaining of the 80 seats will go to polls in the rest of the six phases and counting will take place on 23 May.
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Updated Date: Apr 15, 2019 23:46:57 IST