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1-min read

After Gag on Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav Asks if EC Has 'Integrity' to Act Against PM Modi

The Samajwadi Party president was referring to PM Modi’s statement in which he asked first-time voters to dedicate their votes to the soldiers killed in Pulwama and the follow-up air strikes in Balakot, Pakistan.

News18.com

Updated:April 15, 2019, 6:14 PM IST
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After Gag on Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav Asks if EC Has 'Integrity' to Act Against PM Modi
File Photo BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav (PTI).
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Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has come out swinging to defend alliance partner and BSP supremo Mayawati after the Election Commission barred her from campaigning for 48 hours for violation of the model code of conduct.

Taking to Twitter, Yadav accused the Election Commission of bias and asked if it was also willing to take a similar action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and stop him 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?” he tweeted.

The Samajwadi Party president included PM Modi’s statement in which he asked first-time voters to dedicate their votes to the soldiers killed in the Pulwama terror attack and the follow-up air strikes by the Indian Air Force in Balakot, Pakistan.

"I want to ask my first-time voters, can your first vote be dedicated to the soldiers who conducted the Balakot air strikes? Can your first vote be in the name of the martyrs who lost their lives in Pulwama," Modi had said at a rally in Maharashtra.

Sources had said that the speech had invited a closer look from the poll panel as it had sough a transcript of the speech from the Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra, but it has so far not materialised into any definitive action.

The poll body, hours after getting a rap from the Supreme Court on Monday for not taking action against hate speech, barred Mayawati from campaigning for 48 hours for violating the poll code. It has also barred Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours.

The EC in its order said it was convinced that both the leaders “made highly provocative speech which has the tone and tenor to aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between different religious communities”.

Mayawati had cautioned voters, “particularly Muslims”, against splitting their votes in the eight western UP seats that went to polls in the first phase on April 11.
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