Lok Sabha polls 2019: EC bars Yogi, Maya, Azam, Maneka from campaigning

Lok Sabha Elections,Mayawati,Election Commission

Mayawati attacked the Election Commission for what she said its lack of courage to act against the Prime Minister

The poll panel barred Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours and Mayawati for 48 hours, starting from 6 am tomorrow.

The EC acted against Mr Adityanath for his "Ali" and "Bajrang Bali" remarks while addressing a rally in Meerut on April 9.

The Election Commission on Monday barred Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati from poll campaigning over violating Model Code of Conduct by making objectionable statements in speeches.

In a separate order, the poll panel censured Mayawati and "strongly condemned the impugned statements made by her".

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has summoned a representative of the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday while agreeing to examine the poll panel's contention that it has limited legal powers to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering.

The Commission said that it was convinced that both leaders had made "highly provocative" speeches which had the tone and tenor to "aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between different religious communities".

Just after the apex court chose 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.

While the action against Mayawati came for violating the Model Code of Conduct when she asked Muslims at a rally in Saharanpur to vote in favour of the SP-BSP-RLD combine, Adityanath was barred over his "green virus" and "Ali and Bajrang Bali" comments. Ali is a revered figure in Islam and Hanuman is often called Bajrangbali.

The authority had issued show cause notices to Adityanath and Mayawati for their controversial comments on Thursday. Dissatisfied with the EC counsel's response and the unusually soft approach taken by the commission against errant politicians, the bench said, "We would like to examine the matter".

The commission also observed that Yogi Adityanath, as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had the added responsibility to not only uphold basic tenets including secularism but also to display the same in his public statements and meetings. The Election Commission told the court that it can merely issue notice, then an advisory and lodge a criminal complaint in the case of repeated violations. However, after the EC's order she will not be able to attend the rally.

Since Khan had not given a similar assurance, the ban on him had continued.

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