Gulbarga: A "flying squad" of the Election Commission on Saturday subjected Mayawati to checking for a second time in quick succession, following which an angry BSP supremo hit out at the poll watchdog, playing the Dalit card. As soon as Mayawati, who is in Gulbarga for campaigning for the May 5 assembly poll, landed by helicopter at a helipad on the outskirts of the taluk headquarters town of Jewargi in this district, the flying squad carried out an inspection in the chopper.
They found Rs 1 lakh in cash from her bag, which was not seized after she explained that it belonged to her supporters who accompanied her in the helicopter and that each person is "entitled" to carry Rs 50,000. Thereafter, as she was climbing the dais put up for her party's public meeting in Jewargi, the flying squad again searched Mayawati and her car, an action that infuriated the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
She gave a piece of her mind in her campaign speech, wondering the need to search her again. "Have you checked Sonia Gandhi (Congress President) and Sushma Swaraj (BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha) when they came for campaigning? You are searching me because I am a Dalit woman?", she said.
Meanwhile, Sushma Swaraj's helicopter was also checked by EC officials in Hubli when she landed there for campaigning. However, Sushma welcomed the EC move and tweeted, "Just landed in Hubli. Election Commission officials have checked my helicopter and the baggage. I welcome this."
Gulbarga Deputy Commissioner KJ Jagadish Said that the flying squad recorded the search and he would send a report to the Election Commission.
With Additional Inputs from PTI