Yadav said in case the Election Commission did not withdraw the order banning Azam Khan from holding election campaigns, millions of his party workers would "become Azam Khan".

He was speaking during election rallies in Shahabad and Rampur cities on Monday.

“The EC is after us, Azam Khan has been banned from addressing public meetings and I have been issued a notice," Yadav told a gathering while explaining that he has the highest regard for women and has been gone to jail for taking up their issues.

He said the right to speech and expression could not be banned in the country.

The Election Commission had on April 11 banned Khan from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh and had asked authorities to initiate criminal proceedings against him for his alleged hate speeches.

On Monday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav defended Khan, saying the poll body has taken action against the senior Samajwadi Party leader without going through his explanation.

“Azam was served notice by EC...He has replied to it. The EC, however, did not go through his reply and had taken action against him", Akhilesh said while addressing an election rally in Badaun in support of his cousin brother Dharmendra Yadav.

The Chief Minister’s remarks came a day after Khan accused the Election Commission of working at the behest of the Centre.


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