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Mayawati's Muslim Vote Appeal Came From Heart, Yogi's 'Green Virus' Remark Was Dangerous: Mamata Banerjee

The Election Commission had imposed a 72-hour campaign ban on the UP chief minister and a 48-hour ban on the BSP chief for violating the Model Code of Conduct with their statements.


Updated:April 18, 2019, 10:10 PM IST
Mayawati's Muslim Vote Appeal Came From Heart, Yogi's 'Green Virus' Remark Was Dangerous: Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee speaks to New18 Network.

Claiming that Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath had different agendas when they made statements that invited censure from the Election Commission, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that while the BSP chief spoke from her heart, the UP Chief Minister's remarks were more dangerous in nature.

Speaking to News18 Network’s editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi, Banerjee said that Election Commission is an impartial institution, and she doesn't want to question its actions. But she maintained that the two leaders, issued campaign bans by the poll body, made their statements for different reasons.

The Election Commission had imposed a 72-hour campaign ban on the UP chief minister in light of his statements comparing the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between 'Ali' and ‘Bajrang Bali’. He had also referred to the Muslim League as a “green virus”, inviting the ire of the Opposition.

The poll body had also imposed a 48-hour ban on BSP supremo Mayawati for her Deoband speech, where she appealed to Muslim voters to not split their votes.

When asked a pointed question about what she thinks of Mayawati’s vote appeal to Muslims, Banerjee said that she would not want to comment as the Supreme Court has already ruled on it. “All I can say is, I ask everyone to vote for me,” she told News18.

She further said that she has noticed that the decisions taken by the EC are usually whatever the BJP wants it to do. But in the same vein she said she would want to refrain from commenting on the constitutional institution. “I respect it,” she said.

The West Bengal CM has in the past not shied from criticising the EC and had slammed it earlier this month over its decision to transfer four police officials, including Kolkata Commissioner Anuj Sharma.

Accusing the poll panel of unfairly following the ruling BJP’s orders, Banerjee described the decision as unfortunate, “highly arbitrary, motivated and biased”, and demanded that the Election Commission reconsider the transfer order.

For some time now, the role of the Election Commission has come under criticism by the opposition parties, who have accused it of failing to check violations of the Model Code of Conduct and ensuring a level playing field for the ruling and opposition parties.

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