Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati Banned From Campaigning by Election Commission For Violating MCC

Rohit Kumar

Rohit Kumar

"The Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution and other powers enabling in this behalf, bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) in connection with ongoing elections for 72 hours from 6 a.m. on April 16 (Tuesday)", the Election Commission order on Adityanath said.

While Maywati has been pulled up for asking Muslims to vote for BSP-SP alliance, Yogi Adityanath has been reprimanded for his Ali vs Bajrang Bali comment.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday banned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Yogi Adityanath, and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati from election campaigning for violating the model code of conduct.

The two have also been "censured".

A SC bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ordered the representative of EC to appear before it on Tuesday.

The commission said the leaders are being penalised for their objectionable speeches.

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Just after the apex court made a decision to examine the EC's powers, both Mr Adityanath and Ms Mayawati were restrained from participating in election meetings for three and two days respectively.

At a rally on April 9, allegedly in response to Ms. Mayawati's appeal on April 7 to Muslims to vote for the BSP-Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance, Mr. Adityanath had said that if the Congress, the SP and the BSP had faith in "Ali", "then we also have faith in Bajrangbali". "The hurried nature of the action shows that it was taken under pressure". The BSP chief had prima facie violated the model code of conduct, the poll panel found.

Adityanath had made controversial remarks about the Muslim League and had dubbed them as a "green virus" while suggesting that Hindu and Muslim voters are facing off in a "Ali-Bajrang Bali" contest.

The court has also asked what action it could take against leaders in case of violation of the Model Code.

The order said, the EC is convinced that Adityanath made a "highly provocative" speech which had the "tone and tenor" to aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between religious communities.

The poll panel told Mayawati that being a senior leader, she should have "desisted" from making such comments that have the "undertone and propensity to polarise the elections" in several constituencies due to the reach of the media.

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