Bahujan Samaj party chief Mayawati, who faced a 48-hour ban on campaigning, today questioned the Election Commission over what she alleged was an open defiance by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of its 72-hour ban on his campaigning.
"Yogi (Adityanath) is openly flaunting the ban on him by the Election Commission by visiting temples in different cities and having food in the homes of the Dalits by getting media coverage and publicity. Why is the Election Commission so generous towards him?" she tweeted in Hindi.
"If this kind of bias will continue towards the BJP leaders by the Election Commission, then it is impossible that the elections will be free and fair," she added.
She also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party as the second round of voting in the national election began this morning. She said the Prime Minister and the BJP are just as nervous as the Congress was five years ago before they were routed out by the BJP.
"Today, amid voting for the second phase, the BJP and Prime Minister Modi are nervous like the Congress was fearful and distressed in the last Lok Sabha polls sensing defeat. The main reason is their anti-poor, anti-labour, anti-Dalit, anti-farmer, anti-backward and anti-Muslim mindest," she tweeted in Hindi.
Ms Mayawati was forced to take a 48-hour break from campaigning by the Election Commission on Monday for her divisive remarks at a recent rally, asking the Muslim community not to "split votes" between the Congress and her alliance. Appealing to caste or communal feelings to secure votes is banned under the model code, which is a series of dos and don'ts for political parties ahead of elections.
Her request to the Supreme Court to cancel the ban on her was turned down by the court.
Mayawati is fighting the national election with former arch rival Akhilesh Yadav and Ajit Singh.
Eight of the 80 parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh are voting today: Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Fatehpur Sikri, Nagina, Amroha, Mathura and Agra. The state will see polling in all seven phases of the election.
(With inputs from IANS)
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