Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati on Friday said that the ban on the Popular Front of India ahead of Assembly elections in some states was an act of “political selfishness” aimed at appeasing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

“This is the reason why opposition parties believe that the government’s intentions are wrong, and the reason why they are angry and up in arms on this matter,” she wrote in a tweet. “A demand to ban the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is also openly being raised...if the PFI is a danger to the internal security of the country, why should other organisations similar to it also not be banned?”

On Wednesday, the Popular Front of India, along with its associates, was banned for five years by the government under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

A government notification alleged that the Muslim organisation along with its eight affiliates were involved in “violent terrorist activities” and intended to create a reign of terror in the country, endangering security and public order.

It also claimed that some founding members of the outfit are leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India and have links with the terror group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. Both organisations are banned in India.

The Popular Front of India was created in 2007 through the merger of three Muslim organisations in southern India. It describes itself as an organisation that works towards “the achievement of socio-economic, cultural and political empowerment of the deprived and the downtrodden and the nation at large”.

Opposition parties have welcomed the ban on the Popular Front of India, but have demanded similar action against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, accusing it of promoting a similarly divisive ideology.