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Election Commission gags Yogi Adityanath for 72 hours, Mayawati for 48; he stays unapologetic, she cries foul

NEW DELHI: On a day it drew flak from the SC for failing to rein in debatable statements of politicians, the Election Commission barred four senior leaders - UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Union minister Maneka Gandhi, BSP leader Mayawati and SP chief Azam Khan - from campaigning for 48-72 hours for his or her "highly provocative" or "derogatory" remarks made all the way through the course of campaigning.

Adityanath and Khan have been prohibited for 72 hours, starting 6am and 10am, respectively, on April 16, from holding public meetings, processions, rallies, highway displays and interviews and public utterances in media in reference to the continuing polls. A equivalent ban, even though for 48 hours starting 6am and 10am, respectively, on April 16, used to be put on Mayawati and Maneka for what the EC termed as appeals to communal emotions for votes.

However, Adityanath and Mayawati stood through their remarks. "I used the term 'green virus' for the thought which practises vote bank politics on religious lines... Such narrow thought is harmful for healthy politics... Those practising such politics have to be eliminated just the way a virus is removed," the CM stated.

Mayawati called the EC "anti-Dalit" and accused it of running on the behest of BJP.

The Election Commission stated on Monday it "strongly condemned" UP CM Yogi Adityanath for his "green virus" and "Ali-Bajrang Bali" remarks made while campaigning in Meerut on April nine and "censures" him for the "misconduct". Passing a equivalent verdict against BSP leader Mayawati for her "highly provocative speech" on April 7 at Deoband, Saharanpur, asking Muslims to vote unitedly in favour of their candidate, the EC concluded that both Adityanath and Mayawati's remarks "contaminated" the electoral process.

Within hours of issuing the orders against Adityanath and Mayawati, the EC came out with a equivalent order prohibiting campaigning through Union minister Maneka Gandhi for 48 hours for her April 11 remarks in Sultanpur suggesting that she won't suggest Muslims for jobs if they don't vote for her. SP chief Azam Khan used to be pulled up for his "indecent, derogatory and totally uncalled for" remarks against Jaya Prada in Rampur on Sunday. Maneka and Khan have been "strongly condemned" for his or her statements and reprimanded for the misconduct.

Indeed, the EC gave the impression set to slap every other realize on Khan for his alleged observation that he would make the district Justice of the Peace of Rampur wipe Mayawati's sneakers.

Reacting to the EC order, Mayawati stated: "Shah and Modi continue to spread hatred. But they have been given a free run to create discord. Yogi tried to divide people on the lines of Ali and Bajrang Bali. I did not start it. Modi has been warned against using the defence services in his speeches but he continues to do so. The EC has not had the courage to issue a notice to the real culprit, Narendra Modi."

The motion came after the SC frowned upon the ballot watchdog for failing to curb debatable utterances, and termed it "toothless". However, an EC functionary clarified that its motion against the four senior leaders, taken underneath Article 324 of the Constitution, used to be not a fallout of the SC wondering the EC. He stated the ballot frame had met on Sunday to talk about the leaders' replies to its notices and decide on imaginable motion.

TOI had reported on May 12 that the EC, involved on the repeated communal references through senior leaders all the way through the Lok Sabha marketing campaign regardless of the SC banning such appeals, used to be considering stern motion, together with briefly banning repeat and serious offenders from campaigning.

This is not the first time that the EC has barred most sensible political leaders from campaigning. BJP president Amit Shah and Azam Khan have been banned from holding public meetings and rallies in UP all the way through the final Lok Sabha polls. BJP chief Giriraj Singh, too, used to be barred from campaigning in Bihar and Jharkhand in 2014.

On why the EC barred Adityanath and Azam Khan for 72 hours while limiting Mayawati's and Maneka's debarment to 48 hours, EC assets stated punishment for the CM used to be upper as this used to be the second time he used to be discovered in charge of having violated the style code. The EC had previous let him off with advice to watch out with his public utterances. Similarly, Khan used to be barred from campaigning in UP even in the final Lok Sabha polls and used to be censured. The EC stated he had not changed his tactics and used to be nonetheless the usage of objectionable language.

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