Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday condemned the Election Commission for banning election campaign speeches by prominent Muslim leader of the state Azam Khan, saying the poll watchdog was "taking impractical decisions sitting indoors".
Khan had told an election rally in Ghaziabad on April 4 that the Indian soldiers who won back Kargil were Muslims.
Besides Khan, the EC also banned Narendra Modi aide Amit Shah from making poll speeches in the state. Shah had exhorted a gathering of Hindus in Muzaffarnagar, which was hit by religious riots last year, to take revenge for the riots through voting.
Addressing a rally in Agra, Yadav accused the commission of being unaware of the ground realities of politics. He said there was nothing wrong in Khan's speeches.
"Muslims have made supreme sacrifices for the nation. One such example is that of Abdul Hameed (martyred in the 1965 India-Pak war)," he said.
Yadav also slammed the National Commission for Women (NCW) on serving a notice on him for a controversial remark on rape. He described the notice as an insult to him.
"I am being painted as anti-woman when, in fact, I have gone to prison to safeguard women's rights. Yet, notices are being served on me by the Women's Commission," he said.
In Moradabad last week, he had said death penalty was too harsh for those found guilty of rape.
Referring to the Shakti Mills rape cases in Mumbai, where death penalty was awarded to the three accused youths who were repeat offenders, Yadav had reportedly said "boys err at times".
"I had only talked against fake cases," he clarified in Agra on Wednesday. He called for action against those lodging fake cases of sexual assault.
"I have given the reply to the notice served on me. It is a strong one. A counter is awaited," he informed the gathering at CTO ground in Agra.
Predicting neither the Congress nor the BJP would get a majority, he said the third front would gain power at the Centre and his party would be its largest component.