The chief electoral officer of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday sought a report from authorities in Saharanpur about a speech made by Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati in Deoband earlier in the day, PTI reported.
During a joint rally with alliance partners Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal, Mayawati had urged the Muslim community to not divide votes by choosing the Congress in the upcoming General Elections. “In western UP, where people of all communities live...in Saharanpur, Bareilly, where there is a huge Muslim population...I want to tell the Muslim community...don’t divide your votes...give it to the BSP, SP and RLD alliance,” she had told the rally.
L Venkateshwarlu, the state’s chief electoral officer, said he had received several complaints about the speech. He said he had asked for recordings of speeches made by the chiefs of all the three parties. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Ajit Singh were also present at the rally.
Bharatiya Janata Party state vice president JPS Rathore had also complained to him, alleging that Mayawati’s appeal amounted to fanning religious passion and is a hindrance in holding free and fair polls.
“Seeking votes on the basis of religion or caste is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct, and the matter will be probed by the Election Commission,” an unidentified election official told The Indian Express.