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No relief for Mayawati from campaign ban, SC says EC has woken up to its power


After being slapped with a 48-hour ban on campaigning by the Election Commission (EC) for her "provocative" communal remarks, BSP supremo Mayawati on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against the poll body.

However, the apex court refused to consider Mayawati's plea and took note of action taken by the Election Commission against politicians who made statements violating the model code of conduct.

"It seems Election Commission has woken up to its power and taken action against politicians," the court said.

The EC on Monday imposed a nation-wide ban on Mayawati, among other leaders, for their "provocative" communal remarks, which it said had the "propensity to polarise the elections".

Mayawati alleged the decision appears to have been "taken under pressure" and it will be remembered as a "black day".

Terming the ban a "sudden unprecedented order based on wrong facts", she asserted that the poor and deprived sections of the society will not forget it as she was being deprived of her right to appeal to uproot the BJP from power.

The action follows her speech in Deoband last week where she appealed to Muslim voters to not vote for Congress to avoid division in the anti-BJP votes.

The BSP chief also said that she had complete faith in her followers and supporters who would understand the intention behind the order and will cast their votes fearlessly in favour of the alliance.

Mayawati also alleged that Election Commission has "closed its eyes and ears" on speeches by BJP president Amit Shah Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other saffron party leaders.

"Shah and Modi have been given an open hand to spread hatred among different communities and play with the security of the country," the BSP president said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks asking first-time voters to dedicate their vote to those who carried out the Balakot air strike are under examination of the poll panel.

Besides Mayawati, the poll body also banned UP CM Yogi Adityanath, SP leader Azam Khan and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi from election campaigning.

The Supreme Court had on Monday expressed displeasure with the EC "having limited power to act against leaders making statements along religious lines and violating the model code of conduct during elections".

The apex court also agreed to examine statements made by political leaders violative of the model code of conduct after the poll body admitted it was "toothless" and "powerless" with regard to the hate speeches made during election campaigns.

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