EC Bars Adityanath From Campaigning for 72 Hours, Mayawati for 48 Hours

India's election commission said Adityanath chief minister of Uttar Pradesh had spoken about a “green virus” in a speech last week in reference to Muslim voters who he said were being wooed by opposition parties. ─ Reuters  File

India's election commission said Adityanath chief minister of Uttar Pradesh had spoken about a “green virus” in a speech last week in reference to Muslim voters who he said were being wooed by opposition parties. ─ Reuters File

The Election Commission, after a barrage of criticism, banned UP CM Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati from campaigning for 72 hours and 48 hours respectively, effective 6 AM April 16, 2019.

Two days later, according to the Election Commission, Yogi Adityanath told a rally in Meerut about Mayawati's speech and said: "If the Congress, SP and BSP have faith in "Ali", we have faith in "Bajrang Bali", the followers of Bajrang Bali will not tolerate them".

The EC put a 72-hour prohibition on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and a 48-hour ban on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

The two were banned from campaigning in an uncommon censure under Article 324 of the Constitution that deals with power of the EC to conduct national and Assembly elections. "The explanation shall be submitted within 24 hours of the receipt of the notice, failing which the commission shall take a decision without further reference", Principal Secretary, Election Commission, Anuj Jaipuriar had said. They issue a notice if someone violates model code.or uses religion or caste for votes.then an advisory of they don't follow notice.

In 2014, the Commission took action against BJP chief Amit Shah and Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan for hate speech. While expressing displeasure over the EC not taking quick action against hate speeches, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi gave the poll panel time till Tuesday to explain its lawyer's submissions that the EC is largely "powerless" and "toothless" in such matters. Ali is a revered figure in Islam and Hanuman is often called Bajrangbali.

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In a speech at a rally in Saharanpur's Deoband on April 7, Mayawati had appealed to Muslims to vote for the alliance and not divide their vote by supporting another political party.

"The Commission observes that being the Chief Minister of a state, Yogi Adityanath has an added responsibility to not only uphold the basic tenets, including secularism, of the Constitution of India but also to display the same in his appearances/meetings/speeches as well", it added.

"This will be remembered as a Black Day in the history of the EC", she said at a press conference.

The bench made the observations while hearing a petition filed by an NRI yoga teacher based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seeking a direction to the Election Commission to take "strict action" against political parties if their spokespersons make remarks based on caste and religion in the media during elections.

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