Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has been served a notice by the Election Commission for her speech in Deoband (Sahranpur) in Uttar Pradesh where urged Muslim voters to vote for the BSP-SP-RJD coalition.
The notice by the EC says that the "widely published" statement violates the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and adds that it also willfully disobeys a Supreme Court order where it has held that religion and caste cannot be used for electioneering.
The poll body panel has given her the opportunity to explain her stand on the statement within 24 hours of the receipt of the notice.
It has said that if she fails to explain her stand the EC will take a decision without reference to her.
The former UP chief minister had on April 7 made several statements asking the Muslim voters to vote for the coalition and not the Congress saying that only the gathbandhan can defeat the BJP.
"I want to tell the Muslim community to not let their votes divide. I ask you to vote together for BSP, SP and RLD.
"I'm warning, especially people of Muslim community, that Congress isn't in a position to fight BJP in UP. Only 'gathbandhan' can fight BJP. Congress knows this but they're going by mantra 'Hum jeete ya na jeete, gathbandhan nahi jeetna chahiye'. Therefore Congress party has fielded candidates from such castes and religion which will benefit BJP. Therefore I am warning members of Muslim community," she said.
The office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Lakku Venkateshwarlu in Lucknow was believed to have taken cognisance of Mayawati's speech where "she appealed to Muslim voters to vote for the BSP-SP alliance and not for the Congress, which cannot fight the BJP."
"The CEO has sought a report in this regard from the local administration," official sources had said.