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Amit Shah to seek review of Election Commission’s ban on his rallies in UP

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New Delhi: BJP leader Amit Shah has said he would request the Election Commission (EC) to review its order that bans him from addressing rallies in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly making “highly inflammatory speeches” while campaigning. (Threats, personal attacks and Kargil: hate speeches under scrutiny)

“The EC has asked me to reply by today evening. I will give my explanation in the reply and will request for a review of the decision,” he told reporters today.

Along with Mr Shah, the Election Commission has also banned Samajwadi Party’s senior minister Azam Khan from addressing rallies in the state. Both parties have sought a review of the decision. (India Votes 2014: full coverage)

In a letter to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, the Election Commission has also ordered that First Information Reports or FIRs be registered against the two politicians. (Battle 2014: Track Live Updates)

In its letter, the poll panel criticised the Akhilesh Yadav government for “soft pedalling” on action against its minister Azam Khan for what it has described as his “undesirable activities”. (Unfortunate that people like Amit Shah are in politics: Mulayam Singh)

Mr Khan has alleged that he is facing a ban and criminal charges as the Election Commission “had to strike a balance as they were anyway proceeding against Amit Shah.” His party’s spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman also added that the Election Commission “has carried out a communal balancing act.”

The UP government has filed FIRs against Amit Shah, a close aide of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, for talking about “revenge” for the communal violence that tore through Muzaffarnagar last year. Mr Shah delivered the controversial speeches in Bijnor and Shamli, in the riot-scarred western UP region.

Azam Khan too has made several provocative speeches recently, including one in Ghaziabad on Tuesday when he said that the Kargil war was won by Muslim soldiers. The panel said despite a notice sent to him, he is “still making derogatory and inflammatory statements and using intemperate language as well.”

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