Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan Sunday threatened to move court against the Election Commission’s ban on him, alleging that the poll watchdog was working under the “influence” of the Centre.
“EC too is working on the pattern of CBI, which happens to remain under the influence of the Centre,” Khan told media persons in Rampur. “If the restrictions were not removed I will approach court,” he added.
The statement came even as a fresh case — third in the last five days — was lodged against Khan for his alleged hate speech in Shamli district. The case was registered in Thana Bhawan police station Saturday for his remarks at an election rally in Jalalabad area of the district on April 8, District Magistrate N P Singh said in Muzaffarnagar.
Khan had allegedly attacked BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi saying, “His hands are coloured with blood of innocent people and you should never let any such person rule the country.”
Referring to the poll panel ban, Azam claimed he had been victimised. “My reply reached EC at 2 pm on April 11 while the deadline was 5 pm. Still one sided action was taken against me,” he said.
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On April 11, the EC had toughened its stand against hate speech and banned Khan and BJP leader Amit Shah from holding public meetings, processions or roadshows in UP and asked authorities to initiate criminal proceedings against them. The move came after police had filed a case against the minister over his “revenge” remark at a rally in Sambhal.
On Saturday, the Ghaziabad police had booked Khan in another case for his alleged inflammatory speech over the Kargil war following which Azam had addressed media at Rampur and distributed newspaper clippings and CDs with reports to substantiate his claims that Muslims were also martyred in Kargil war.
Meanwhile, with Azam confined to his house, SP has started feeling his absence. Akhilesh who was in Rampur Saturday also mentioned that he was missing Azam badly. The controversial leader also faces a tough challenge in Rampur where his close aide Naseer Ahmed Khan is locked in a battle with Congress candidate Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, BSP’s Akbar Hussain and BJP’s Dr Nepal Singh. Now, Mulayam has planned two meetings, on April 14 and 15, to canvass for Naseer Ahmed. Akhilesh already has addressed two public meetings at Rampur, which will go to polls on April 17.