Slamming BSP Supremo and former Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati for her comments in a UP rally, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on Sunday, has said that such kind of polarising while appealing for votes should not be done and the parties doing so should realise whether this would be a gain or loss for them. Speaking at a press conference, he said:
"I would expect every political (party) denomination to not do appeals on religious grounds. Everyone has a vote. Even the minorities including Muslims, other castes. I hope no party is under such an assumption that only they (minorities) have a vote and not others. When such kind of polarization is done in appealing, they should clearly understand whether it creates a profit or loss."
Earlier on the same day, while addressing a rally in Deoband in Saharanpur, Mayawati gave a polarising speech where she appealed to Muslim voters to vote for the BSP-SP coalition (with RLD in tow) and not Congress saying that the party led by Gandhis cannot fight the BJP.
"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.
Urging Muslims to unite and vote for the BSP-SP coalition, she said:
"I want to tell the Muslim community to not let their votes divide. I ask you to vote together for BSP, SP and RLD."
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that the Election Commission should take notice of Mayawati's speech
"Asking votes from Muslims is a violation of the Election law. I hope the EC takes notice of this and issue them show cause notice and declare their party's participation in elections as null and void," he said.
Mayawati, a PM-aspirant had announced that she will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls which will take place in seven phases for all the 29 states and seven Union Territories beginning from April 11 to May 7, 2019. The results will be announced on May 23, 2019.