Election Commission bars Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 3 days, Mayawati for 2 days

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Lucknow:  The Election Commission of India on Monday banned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP supremo Mayawati from election campaigning for 72 and 48 hours respectively. As per reports, the ban will come into effect from Tuesday 6 am. 

The leaders are facing the ban for violating the Model Code of Conduct by making objectionable statements in their speeches, news agency ANI reported. The Election Commission on Monday "strongly condemned" Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP supremo Mayawati for their communal remarks and barred them from campaigning for different periods.

The two have also been "censured". The development comes after the Supreme Court, earlier in the day, took note of the alleged hate speeches made by BSP supremo Mayawati and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during poll campaign and sought to know from the Election Commission the action initiated against them so far.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi summoned a representative of the EC for Tuesday while agreeing to examine the poll panel's contention that it has the limited legal power to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering, news agency PTI reported.  

"The EC says they are toothless. They say that they first issue a notice, then advisory and then complain," the bench said, adding it would examine the aspect relating to poll panel's power to deal with hate speeches during the poll campaign.

"Tell us what actions you have taken against Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath," the bench asked and fixed the matter for tomorrow.  The bench was hearing a PIL filed by an NRI Yoga teacher based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seeking a direction to the EC to take "strict action" against political parties if their spokespersons make remarks based on caste and religion in the media in the run-up to general elections. 

Mayawati was issued the notice for her speech in Deoband appealing to Muslims to not vote for a particular party. The BSP chief had prima facie violated the model code of conduct, the poll panel found. 

Adityanath was served the notice for his "Ali" and "Bajrang Bali" remarks while addressing a rally in Meerut. He compared the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between 'Ali', a revered figure in Islam, and Bajrang Bali, the Hindu god Hanuman.

Election Commission bans UP CM Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati from election campaigning for 72 hours & 48 hours respectively, starting from 6 am tomorrow, for violating Model Code of Conduct by making objectionable statements in their speeches. 

On Saturday, giving her own twist to Yogi Adityanath's recent comment, BSP chief Mayawati said her party wanted both Ali and Bajrang Bali - particularly Bajrang Bali as the deity is "linked with my own Dalit caste".

Addressing a rally in Badaun, Mayawati recalled Adityanath's comment on Tuesday in which he referred to her earlier appeal to Muslims to vote for the opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh. The chief minister had said if Ali is with the BSP-SP-RLD alliance, then Bajrang Bali is with the BJP.

"In this connection, I want to tell him (Adityanath) that both Ali and Bajrang Bali are ours... So we want both Ali as well as Bajrang Bali," she said. wionews