From barring Thackeray from voting to banning film on PM Modi: Precedents of strong actions by EC
New Delhi, Apr 12: Every time an election is held, the role of the Election Commission is put to test. Not only do the EC officials have constantly keep a watch on illegal money, supply of liquor to woo voters, but have to also keep a check on hate speeches, violence etc.
Over the years the EC has taken strong action against top politicians. Be it banning Bal Thackeray from voting or barring Amit Shah from holding rallies. Let us take a look at the precedents of strong action taken by the EC over the years.
Om Prakash Chautala not allowed to vote:
In 1999, CM Om Prakash Chautala was asked to leave Bhiwani constituency during the Lok Sabha elections by Election Commission JM Lyngdoh. He was not allowed to even vote in the election. He did not vote even in the 2004 and 2005 Lok Sabha elections citing ban on voting.
Bal Thackeray banned from voting by EC:
In 1999, Shiv Sena leader Balasaheb Thackeray was banned by the ECI from contesting elections and voting for six years. This was for an election speech delivered during a bypoll in 1987. The ban was lifted in 2001.
EC orders covering of all statues of Mayawati:
In 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly election, the ECI ordered covering of all statutes of BSP leader Mayawati and elephants in public parks built by her government in Noida and Lucknow.
EC embarrasses Himachal Pradesh governor, gets him to resign:
Himachal Pradesh governor Gulsher Ahmed was forced to resign after the EC put off polling at Satna, in Madhya Pradesh, on grounds that he had canvassed for his son in that constituency.
EC goes after Motilal Vora who was a governor then:
Uttar Pradesh's Governor Motilal Vora, was ultimately cleared after an EC inquiry into allegations of campaigning in his son's constituency, Durg, in Madhya Pradesh.
Vora was already on the run from the CEC after Seshan forced him to rescind the transfer orders of an SP from Garhwal.
EC goes after Governor Baliram Bhagat:
In a similar incident, outgoing Rajasthan governor Baliram Bhagat had to abandon his attempt to install a fellow Bihari as the director-general of police when Seshan objected and threatened to suspend the remaining poll process.
CEC asks PM to remove sitting ministers:
In 1994, CEC TN Seshan had asked Prime Minister Narasimha Rao to remove sitting ministers Sitaram Kesari and Kalpanath Rai, as they were allegedly influencing voters through undue promises.
Lalu alleges conspiracy as TN Seshan postponed Bihar elections for the fourth time (1995):
TN Seshan rescheduled the Bihar assembly elections for fourth time. Lalu had accused the CEC of playing a political game. "It's clear that Seshan has taken this decision to please the Congress(I) and the BJP," he said.
The first round of elections on March 11 held in 88 constituencies in central and south Bihar had seen violence. At least 14 people - though official records admit to only four - including an executive magistrate, were killed in group clashes or attacks by extremist groups.
ECI cancels bypoll in Meham:
In 1990, the ECI had cancelled bypoll in Meham assembly constituency twice. This was first done due to violence and booth capturing and on the second occasion due to death of independent candidate Amir Singh. On the first occasion, the seat was being contested by CM Om Prakash Chautala to get elected to the assembly after taking office.
Restrictions on campaigning of Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati, Maneka Gandhi and Azam Khan in April 2019:
A sitting CM, former CM, a Union Minister and a former UP cabinet minister had been stopped from campaigning by the EC.
The EC put a 72-hour prohibition on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and a 48-hour ban on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.
Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Sultanpur, had also been restrained for 48 hours, and a 72-hour restriction has been imposed on Azam Khan, Samajwadi Party candidate from Rampur.
EC imposes ban on rallies by Amit Shah:
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, ECI imposed a ban on conducting rallies, meetings, and road shows in Uttar Pradesh on BJP leader Amit Shah and SP leader Azam Khan. This ban was withdrawn later.
EC banned Himachal BJP President Satpal Satti for 48 hours from campaigning in April 2019:
The Election Commission of India slapped a campaign ban on Himachal Pradesh BJP president Satpal Satti for 48 hours over his alleged use of expletives against Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Series of bans in Delhi 2020 polls:
Union Minister Anurag Thakur was been banned for 72 hours. BJP MP Parvesh Verma, was banned for 96 hours. Another BJP member, Kapil Mishra, was banned earlier for remarks he made about Shaheen Bagh.
EC cancels Yoga camps by Baba Ramdev:
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the ECI cancelled yoga camps by Baba Ramdev in Himachal Pradesh and Lucknow.
EC bans film on Narendra Modi:
In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, ECI banned the release of a biopic on PM Narendra Modi.
EC bans Himanta Biswa Sarma:
ECI banned BJP leader, Himanta Biswa Sarma from campaigning for a period of 48 hours for the Assam legislative assembly elections due to comments made by him on Hagrama Mohilary. This ban was cut short to 24 hours after he tendered an apology.
EC bans Sadhvi Pragya:
In the 2019 Lok Sabha Election, ECI banned BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from campaigning for 72 hours for her remarks on former ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and the Babri mosque demolition. ECI had found the statements to be ‘provocative' and having the potential to spread hatred.