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Dalit leader in Maharashtra threatens EC

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Criticizes EC’s directive of refraining pol parties from speaking over Pulwama attack

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MUMBAI: Dalit leader and three-time MP PrakashAmbedkar Thursday landed in a controversy for allegedly threatening to put the Election Commission (EC) in jail for two days for not letting political parties speak about the Pulwama terror attack.
Taking cognizance of Ambedkar’s statement he made during a rally in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, the state election commission sought a report from local poll officials.
Ambedkar, the grandson of DrBabasahebAmbedkar, is contesting the upcoming LokSabha election from Solapur and Akola constituencies in Maharashtra as a candidate of VanchitBahujanAghadi (VBA) – an alliance of Ambedkar-led BharipBahujanMahasangh and AsaduddinOwaisi’s AIMIM. The VBA is contesting all 48 LokSabha seats in the state.
“We have lost 40 soldiers (in Pulwama), but still sitting quietly. We have been asked not to speak on the Pulwama attack. How can the EC gag us? Our Constitution has given us the right to speak. I am not the BJP. If voted to power, we will jail the Election Commission for two days,” Ambedkar said during the rally on Thursday.
In an election rally held in Nanded on Wednesday, Ambedkar said if he was voted to power, the notes scrapped by the Modi government will be remonetised.
Talking to PTI about Ambedkar’s remarks on the EC, additional chief electoral officer DilipShinde said, “We have sought a report from the local poll officers where Ambedkar made the alleged remark. We have also asked the officers to submit the report by today itself.”
When asked about his remarks, Ambedkar said he had made a “general” statement.
“I said it in a general sense, but only my comment on the EC was singled out,” Ambedkar told PTI.
Maharashtra will go to polls in four phases, starting April 11 and concluding on April 29. The second and third phase of polling will be held on April 18 and 23. (PTI)


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