Hate speech: EC acts big; bars Mayawati, Yogi from poll campaigning

Evarado Alatorre
Abril 16, 2019

Two days later, according to the Election Commission, Yogi Adityanath told a rally in Meerut about Mayawati's speech and said: "If the Congress, SP and BSP have faith in "Ali", we have faith in "Bajrang Bali", the followers of Bajrang Bali will not tolerate them".

Election Commission on Monday banned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours and BSP chief Mayawati for 48 hours respectively for violating Model Code of Conduct by making objectionable statements in their speeches.

In a separate order, it also barred Gandhi from holding any public meetings, processions, rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterance in media related to the elections for 48 hours. "They say that they first issue a 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 the poll campaign.

The Commission said that it was convinced that both leaders had made "highly provocative" speeches which had the tone and tenor to "aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between different religious communities".

Within a couple of hours, the poll body - which earlier issued notices to Yogi Adiyanath and Mayawati - ordered a ban, invoking special powers under Article 324 of the Constitution.

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The BSP supremo, in her speech in Deoband UP recently, had appealed to Muslims not to vote for a particular party.

Both orders were passed by the Election Commission today citing a violation of Paras 3 and 4 of Part I of the Model Code of Conduct. They issue a notice if someone violates model code.or uses religion or caste for votes.then an advisory of they don't follow notice.

This response from the EC came when a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna asked what action the EC had taken against Mayawati for appealing to Muslim voters and against Adityanath for his "Ali".

The apex court said then it was appropriate to examine the scope of powers of the poll panel which is also a constitutional body. While Ali is revered by Muslims as Prophet Mohammad's successor, Bajrang Bali is another name for Lord Hanuman. But there is a clear precedent from 2014 Lok Sabha elections when BJP's Amit Shah and Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan were barred from campaigning for the remaining duration of the election after they failed to stick to the model code of conduct.

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