Dalit leader and three-time MP Prakash Ambedkar has 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 cognisance of Ambedkar's statement he made during a rally in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra on Thursday, the state election commission Friday sought a report from local poll officials.
Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, is contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha election from Solapur and Akola constituencies in Maharashtra as a candidate of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) - an alliance of Ambedkar-led Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh and Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM. The VBA is contesting all 48 Lok Sabha 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.
In another election rally held in Nanded, 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 Dilip Shinde 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.