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EC bars SP, BSP and BJP leaders from poll campaigning

16 April 2019

The Indian Supreme Court on Monday called out the country's election commission for not taking action against the perpetrators of hate speeches made on religious lines during election rallies, India Today reported.

The tongue-lashing by the top court sent the poll panel into a hyperactive mode as it banned both the Uttar Pradesh leaders from campaigning for three and two days respectively within minutes of the court hearing.

The notice was issued to Mayawati for her speech in Deoband appealing to people of a particular religion to vote in favour of SP, BSP and RLD alliance.

"This is the first show cause and action against the BSP president ... the severity of the action is, therefore, different", he said.

The action against Yogi Adityanath was taken for his "Ali and Bajrangbali" comment, while Mayawati is barred from poll campaigning for seeking Muslim votes.

Just after the apex court chose to examine the EC's powers, both Mr Adityanath and Ms Mayawati were restrained from participating in election meetings for three and two days respectively. "We would like to examine the matter, we want a representative of the EC who is conversant with the details to appear", a bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.

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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.

Adityanath had made controversial remarks about the Muslim League and had dubbed them as a "green virus" while suggesting that Hindu and Muslim voters are facing off in a "Ali-Bajrang Bali" contest.

The functionary said the commission examined the two issues on April 14 and April 15, and came up with the final decision on Monday as it felt a clear message should go out to the politicians.

File image of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

The bench referred to submissions of the EC that they can issue a notice, then advisory and finally lodge a complaint against an errant politician for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by giving hate speeches based on caste and religion during campaign.

The ban on Shah was lifted in a few days after he assured the poll body that he would not disturb public tranquility and law and order.

EC bars SP, BSP and BJP leaders from poll campaigning