In a first, EC cracks whip; bans these leaders from nationwide campaign :

The EC had earlier barred Mayawati and Adityanath from campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections for 48 hours and 72 hours, respectively. In a first, EC cracks whip; bans these leaders from nationwide campaign.

NEW DELHI: In a first, Election Commission (EC) cracks whip and imposed a nationwide campaign ban on these top leaders for their “provocative” communal remarks, which it said had the “propensity to polarise the elections”.

After Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Election Commission (EC) on Monday barred Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Azam Khan from campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections for 48 houres and 72 hours, respectively.

While Gandhi was barred for asking Muslims in Pilibhit, her constituency, to vote for her if they wanted jobs, Khan was banned for making objectionable remarks against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada, his BJP opponent in Rampur.

Khan reportedly told a rally in Rampur on Sunday: “It took you 17 years to identify the real face of these people, but I got to know it in 17 days that they wear khaki underwear.” “…the Commission has observed that Azam Khan has not changed his way of campaigning and he is still indulging in using very objectionable language in election campaigning,” the order said.

The EC reprimanded Khan saying his “indecent”, “derogatory and totally uncalled for” statement violated the model code of conduct and banned him from holding any public meetings, processions, rallies, road shows and interviews or public utterances in media in connection with the ongoing elections for 72 hours from 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

In a separate order, it also barred Gandhi from holding any public meetings, processions, rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterance in media related to the elections for 48 hours.

The EC had earlier barred Mayawati and Adityanath from campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections for 48 hours and 72 hours, respectively.

While the BSP leader had urged the Muslim community to vote only for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidates, the Chief Minister had said if the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the BSP had faith in Ali, “we have faith in Bajrangbali”.

The poll panel also asked Adityanath to explain his remark calling the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) a “virus” and saying the Congress was infected with this “green virus”.

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