- New Delhi, April 15: The Election Commission has banned Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati from campaigning in a penalising action over their “hate” speeches. Adityanath has been banned for 72 hours while Mayawati has been banned for 48 hours
- Adityanath had compared the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between ‘Ali’, a revered figure in Islam, and Bajrang Bali, the Hindu god Hanuman.
- “Agar Congress, SP, BSP ko ‘Ali’ par vishwaas hai toh humein bhi ‘Bajrang Bali’ par vishwaas hai (If the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have faith in Ali, we have faith in Hanuman),” the UP CM had said.
His statement came while referring to BSP chief Mayawati’s speech at a rally in Deoband on April 7, where she had urged Muslims to back the alliance with Akhilesh Yadav’s SP.
Finding both Adityanath and Mayawati prima facie guilty of violating the model code of conduct, the commission has directed them to respond by Friday evening.
The chief electoral officer on Sunday had sought a report from Saharanpur district administration on Mayawati’s speech during the joint SP-BSP-RLD rally in Deoband. Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwarlu had received several complaints and he sought a report from the district administration on the issue.
The commission, in its notice to Mayawati, said prima facie it is of the opinion that the BSP chief has violated provisions of the model code of conduct.
The EC said she should give an explanation within 24 hours of receiving the notice otherwise it would take its decision without making any further reference to her.
State BJP vice president JPS Rathore had also written to the chief electoral officer, alleging that appealing to Muslims not to vote for a particular party amounts to fanning religious passion and is a hindrance in holding free and fair polls. (Agencies)