PTI Photo/Nand Kumar
PTI Photo/Nand Kumar

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh): 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, which prevented her from appealing to voters to dethrone the BJP in Uttar Pradesh by voting for the alliance.

“The unconstitutional decision of EC appears to have been taken under pressure. The hidden intention behind the EC decision is to not 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 here. The day will be remembered as a “black day,” said Mayawati The EC had earlier on Monday imposed a bar on the BSP supremo beginning Tuesday 6 am for her alleged controversial remarks.The bar, said Mayawati, prevented her from appealing to people to not vote for the saffron party.

“EC doesn’t want me to make an appeal to the people to not vote for the BJP. Had it not been the case then EC should have barred me from campaigning not from tomorrow but from a day after,” she said. She also said that in the show-cause notice issued on April 11 the EC had nowhere alleged that she delivered inciting speech and also provided her with the CD of her speech.

“Nowhere in the show-cause notice was it alleged by EC that I have delivered an inciting speech. It only alleged that I was asking vote in name of one community. Neither, EC provided me with the CD of my speech,” said Mayawati. “EC 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 EC,” 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 BJP chief, but I am chief of my party. Meanwhile, EC has given full freedom to BJP president Amit Shah and other BJP leaders,” said Mayawati.

The BSP chief also said that “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, Election Commission on Monday barred Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati from election campaigning for 72 hours and 48 hours respectively, for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The bar comes into force from 6 am on April 16.

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  April 7 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 April 11 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 May 23.

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