EC bars Khan, Maneka, Yogi, Mayawati from campaigning

FIR against SP leader for jibe at BJP

LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI,
Apr 15:
Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan was slapped today with a poll campaign ban, an FIR and a women commission notice for his alleged “khaki underwear” jibe at BJP leader Jaya Prada, while the saffron party mounted a sharp political attack comparing his “disgusting” comments to disrobing of Draupadi in Mahabharata.
After examining the remarks made at an election rally on Sunday by Khan, who has often stoked controversies with his speeches, the Election Commission tonight imposed a nationwide ban on him from campaigning for 72 hours, beginning Tuesday.
Election Commission has also barred Union Minister Menaka Gandhi for 48 hours for her controversial remarks.
Earlier, EC imposed a nation-wide ban on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati from campaigning for 72 and 48 hours respectively from tomorrow for their “provocative” communal remarks, which it said had the “propensity to polarise the elections”.
The Election Commission order to bar these leaders came within few hours of the Supreme Court taking note of the communal remarks by them during their Lok Sabha poll campaigns and asking the poll watchdog about the action it has initiated against them.
However, a senior EC functionary said the commission had examined the two issues on April 14-15, and came up with the final decision today after lots of deliberation as it felt a clear message should go out to the politicians.
In its order, the commission said, it “strongly condemns” the impugned statement made by the UP Chief Minister and “censured” him for “misconduct”.
Using its constitutional powers under Article 324 of the Constitution, the EC barred him from “holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (print, electronic and social media) in connection with the ongoing elections for 72 hours (three days) from 6.00 am on April 16.”
In another order on similar lines, the commission also censured and “strongly” condemned Mayawati for her remarks, and barred her from campaigning for 48 hours or two days, starting from 6.00 am tomorrow.
According to EC officials, this is for the first time an all-India ban has been imposed on politicians to campaign in elections and also it is for the first time such a restriction has been put against a Chief Minister.
On the different time periods for the leaders, a senior EC official said, “it is for the second time that the Uttar Pradesh CM has been issued a show cause notice by the EC. On April 5, he was asked to be ‘careful’ in the future.”
“This is the first show cause and action against the BSP president … the severity of the action is, therefore, different,” he said.
The EC has written to Chief Electoral Officers of all States informing them about their decision on Adityanath and Mayawati to ensure that the orders are not violated. (PTI)