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My constitutional rights being denied: Mayawati on poll panel gag

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Lucknow, Apr 15: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Monday lashed out at the Election Commission's gag order and alleged that there was an hidden agenda behind the move.

Addressing a press conference, Mayawati questioned the EC not taking any action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using armed forces in his election speeches.

File photo of Mayawati

"PM Modi is using the army for votes. But EC is not taking any action even after repeated warnings," Mayawati says and adds, "This (the ban) shows the anti-Dalit mentality of EC. I can't go to Agra rally tomorrow because of the anti-Dalit mentality of the EC," said Mayawati.

EC issues 72-hour gag order for Azam Khan, 48 hrs for Maneka Gandhi

The BSP chief said the poll body's notice had no charge of any instigating speech. "The only allegation the EC made was that I had asked for votes on religious grounds," she said.

"I had asked everyone to vote for alliance. I had asked Muslims to not let their votes get divided. In response to the show-cause notice I had specified that nowhere in my speech had I instigated communal tensions or spoken of any community," the BSP chief added.

Saying that the EC has given a one-sided decision, the BSP chief said that this day will be known as a black day in the history of the poll body.

"It will be remembered as a black day. The order could have been implemented a day after the end of the campaign for the second phase of polling. The order has prevented me from making an appeal to voters to vote for the alliance."

She further added, "EC knows that the second phase of polling is on April 18 and the last day of campaigning is tomorrow. The Agra rally is scheduled for tomorrow. The result of this decision is that I will not be able to address the people of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura, etc."

Earlier the day, the Election Commission barred Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours and Mayawati, for 48 hours starting Tuesday morning for controversial speeches.

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