Indian Express

Azam Khan rules out apology for hate speech, questions poll panel relief to Amit Shah

The SP termed the EC decision on Shah as “unfortunate” and alleged it was doing “injustice” to Khan. Tweet This
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Senior SP leader Azam Khan. (PTI) Senior SP leader Azam Khan. (PTI)

UP Minister Azam Khan on Friday ruled out an apology for an alleged hate speech and questioned why the Election Commission had not lifted the ban on his campaigning like it did for BJP leader Amit Shah.

Hitting out at the EC for lifting the ban on Shah on Thursday but not granting him similar relief, Khan said he will move the Supreme Court agai-nst its order barring him from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh.

The SP termed the EC decision on Shah as “unfortunate” and alleged it was doing “injustice” to Khan.

Alleging that the EC action against him smacked of “undeclared Emergency”, Khan, who is a prominent Muslim face of SP, said he had not done anything wrong that warranted an apology. “I have not committed a crime,” he said in Rampur.

“Can any commission be above the Supreme Court. The EC has a misunderstanding that its arbitrary powers can’t be challenged in any court,” said Khan, who was banned along with Shah from campaigning in the state for making provocative speeches.

Asking why he was not given similar relief, Azam said, “A criminal, an assailant and a murderer of humanity, whose entry into Gujarat has been banned by Supreme Court, availed freedom to campaign whereas the voice of a person whose entire community is a victim and who has a spotless character has been crushed”.

Accusing the EC of acting at the behest of Congress, he said, “I shall approach the apex court and believe I will get justice”.“The action of the Commission smacked of undeclared Emergency…. I don’t know what the EC wants from me. It punished me without considering my reply. They have committed a huge legal blunder in my matter,” he said and called himself a “victim”.

SP writes to EC to withdraw ban

NEW DELHI: A day after EC lifted the ban on Amit Shah, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has written to the EC to withdraw a similar ban on party’s national general secretary Azam Khan. In a letter to the EC on Friday, SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav requested that the “order of censure” on Khan be withdrawn “allowing SP to be represented through its national general secretary… as his absence from public platform is causing severe damage to the cause of the party and is giving lop-sided advantage to its rival parties”.

In the letter, Yadav has said that the orders were issued even before the expiry of the stipulated time period for response to the show cause notice and hence was “admittedly the resultant of pre-judgment on a major issue relating to Right to Speech guaranteed in Article 19 of Constitution of India”.
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