The Election Commission has barred Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP Chief Mayawati from campaigning for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections for 72 hours and 48 hours, respectively. The poll panel has held both guilty of breaking the Model Code of Conduct through their speeches.
Yogi Adityanath has been pulled up for calling the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) a ‘virus’ as well as for his April 9 speech in which he had said, “If the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have faith in Ali, we have faith in Bajrang Bali (another name for Hanuman)."
“The Commission observes that being the CM of a state, Sh Yogi Adityanath has an added responsibility to not only uphold the basic tenets, including secularism of the Constitution but also to display the same in his public appearances/speeches as well,” the Election Commission said in its order on Monday.
The Election Commission has barred him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print, social media) etc in connection with the ongoing elections for 72 hours from 6 am on 16 April 2019.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has censured Mayawati for 48 hours from 6 am on 16 April 2019 for her statement asking members of the Muslim community to vote for the candidate of the SP-BSP coalition.
“Mayawati, being a senior leader should have desisted herself in making statements that have the undertone and prosperity 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 digital age,” the Election Commission notice to Mayawati states.
The Election Commission has stated that both the leaders violated the Model Code of Conduct and made “highly provocative speeches” which have the “tone and tenor to aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between different religious communities.”
The Election Commission order comes three days before the second phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh. Eight constituencies in the state are going to polls on April 18 and election campaigns for those constituencies cannot be carried out post 6 pm on April 16.