Adityanath prohibited from campaigning for 72 hours, Mayawati for 48 for violating model code of conduct
Election Commission's order of 72 hours prohibition on campaign will be effective from 6am on 16.4.2019 (Tuesday) against UP CM Yogi Adityanath for violation of Model Code of Conduct while Mayawati will face a 48-hour ban from tomorrow .
"The Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution and other powers enabling in this behalf, bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) in connection with ongoing elections for 72 hours from 6 a.m. on April 16 (Tuesday)," the EC order on Adityanath said.
"The Commission observes that being a senior leader, Mayawati should have desisted herself in making statements that have the undertone and propensity to polarise the elections, which is not confined to the constituency only where the statement is made, but to the other parts as well, due to fast dissemination of information in the digital age," the separate order on Mayawati said.
Mayawati was issued the notice for her speech in Deoband appealing to Muslims to not vote for a particular party. The BSP chief had prima facie violated the model code of conduct, the poll panel found. Adityanath was served the notice for his "Ali" and "Bajrang Bali" remarks while addressing a rally in Meerut.
This is a huge setback to the grand alliance as a huge rally was organised in Agra on Tuesday and Mayawati was supposed to address Dalit supporters who were coming in large numbers. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and RLD chief Ajit Singh would be addressing the rally and public meetings sans Mayawati now.
The action comes hours after the Supreme Court sought to know from the Election Commission about the action initiated against the two leaders on their alleged hate speeches.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi summoned a representative of the EC for Tuesday while agreeing to examine the poll panel's contention that it has limited legal powers to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering.
The bench referred to submissions of the EC that they can issue 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 EC says they are toothless. They say that they first issue notice, then advisory and then complain," the bench said, adding it would examine the aspect relating to poll panel's power to deal with hate speeches during poll campaign.
The counsel appearing for poll panel said that it has already issued notices against the two politicians.
"Tell us what actions you have taken against Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath," the bench asked and fixed the matter for Tuesday.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by an NRI Yoga teacher based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seeking a direction to the EC to take "strict action" against political parties if their spokespersons make remarks based on caste and religion in the media in the run up to general elections.
(With additional information from Agencies)
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