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EC bans Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours, Mayawati for 48 hours


New Delhi, Apr 15: After the Supreme Court slammed the Election Commission (EC) for being soft on hate speech, the poll body has now censured Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati for communal remarks.

The EC barred Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours and BSP chief Mayawati for 48 hours starting tomorrow morning for violating Model Code of Conduct.

EC bans Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours, Mayawati for 48 hours

Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav were scheduled to address a joint rally in Agra tomorrow. However, after the EC's order she will not be able to attend the rally.

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The commission's orders came hours after the Supreme Court gave the poll panel time till tomorrow to report on the action taken against the two prominent politicians for their controversial speeches.

In separate orders, the Election Commission "condemned" the two speeches and "censured" the politicians before issuing a gag order.

"The Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in this behalf, bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances (electronic, print, social media) etc in connection with ongoing elections for 72 hours from 6 am on 16 April 2019," the panel said.

The UP Chief Minister was issued notice by the Election Commission for his 'Ali-Bajrangbali' remark. "If you (Opposition) have faith in Ali, we have faith in Bajrangbali," Adityanath said at a rally.

In his response to the notice, Adityanath said he made the apparently communal statement in retaliation to BSP chief Mayawati's appeal to Muslim voters in Deoband, which was also taken note of by the EC.

Mayawati had made an appeal to Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur and Bareilly districts during the first joint rally of the BSP-SP alliance in Deoband.

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She had cautioned voters, "particularly Muslims", against splitting their votes in the eight western UP seats that went to polls in the first phase on April 11.

The BSP chief was also issued a showcause notice for her appeal. She had defended her appeal to the voters, saying that the message was actually meant for the "bahujan samaj", of which Muslims are a part.

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