Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday questioned the Election Commission’s integrity after the poll body banned Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati from campaigning for 48 hours for violating the Model Code of Conduct. The Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have formed an alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections.
Yadav asked the Election Commission if it could stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi from asking for votes in the name of the Army. “EC directive against Mayawati ji begs the question: do they have integrity to stop PM from asking for votes in name of the army?” Yadav tweeted.
The Samajwadi Party chief quoted Modi saying: “I want to ask first time voters if they could cast their first ever vote for the soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama [attack].” Modi made the remark during a rally in Maharashtra’s Latur city on April 9.
On Monday, the poll panel said Mayawati has been penalised for her speech earlier this month urging the Muslim community to vote for the alliance in the state and to not divide votes by choosing the Congress.
The Election Commission also banned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours. The poll body cited Adityanath’s speech where he compared the upcoming elections to a contest between Ali, a revered figure in Islam, and Bajrang Bali, the Hindu god Hanuman, to impose the penalty. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader had also suggested that the party will win the elections as it has faith in Bajrang Bali.
The authority had issued show cause notices to Adityanath and Mayawati for their controversial comments on Thursday.
The 2019 General Elections are being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, and votes will be counted on May 23.