Hours after the Election Commission (EC) of India banned BSP supremo Mayawati from campaigning, she accused the EC of turning a 'blind-eye' towards the BJP and called her ban 'unconstitutional'. She further called the day as a 'black day in the democracy of India' and made a 'murder of democracy' claim.
The EC on Monday had banned the BSP chief as well as UP CM Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 48 hours and 72 hours respectively as a punishment for their polarising speeches ahead of the first phase of elections. While Mayawati had appealed to the Muslim community in a joint rally to vote for gathbandhan, Yogi Adityanath had called the Opposition as 'green virus' referring to their alleged appeasement of the Muslim community.
Addressing a press conference hours after her ban, Mayawati said that her fundamental right has been snatched.
"The unconstitutional decision of EC appears to have been taken under pressure. The hidden intention behind the EC decision is to not let me appeal to the people of 'Bahujan Samaj' to vote against the BJP in elections and dethrone it."
She also added that the EC has thrown a 'blind-eye on speeches of Amit Shah and PM Modi' and the show-cause notice issued to her on April 11 did not allege an inciting speech.
"EC doesn't want me to make an appeal to the people to not vote for the BJP. Had it not been the case then EC should have barred me from campaigning not from tomorrow but from a day after. Nowhere did the show-cause notice was it alleged by the EC that I have delivered an inciting speech. It only alleged that I was asking for vote in the name of one community. Neither, EC provided me with the CD of the speech."
In a threat of sorts, Mayawati said that if they (gathbandhan) got a chance to form the government at the Centre, they will 'pay it back with interest'.
While banning the two leaders, the EC cited Article 324 of the Constitution and said that it has barred both Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath from holding public meetings, public procession, public rallies, road shows, interviews, public utterances in media in connection with the ongoing elections. After the ban on the two, the EC also banned BJP's Maneka Gandhi and SP leader Azam Khan from campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections for 48 and 72 hours respectively.