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Hate speech: EC imposes campaign ban on Adiyanath, Mayawati & Maneka for provocative remarks

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

In a first, the on Monday imposed a nationwide campaign ban on minister for 72 hours and on Maneka and for 48 hours from Tuesday for their "provocative" communal remarks, which it said had the "propensity to polarise the elections".

A 72-hour campaign ban has also been imposed on Samajwadi Party's for his alleged "khaki underwear" jibe against Jaya Prada, who is his rival BJP candidate in Rampur seat.

The all-ban on all four leaders -- two from the ruling BJP and two from opposition parties -- comes into force from 6.00 AM Tuesday.

While Adityanath, and were found guilty of violating the model code, the said Khan not only violated the poll code, he also disregarded its November 2013 directive asking politicians to desist from "deeds or actions construed as being repugnant to the honour and dignity of women".

For the first time a pan-ban has been imposed on politicians, while any restriction on a minister and a is unprecedented.

While there was no immediate reaction from Adityanath, alleged the order has been passed "under pressure" and it would be remembered as a "black day" in the EC's history. She has faced action for appealing to Muslims to not for the to avoid their anti-BJP votes getting divided.

Her alliance asked the whether it is capable to issue similar directives to the to stop him from asking for votes in name of the

Narendra Modi's remarks asking first-time voters to dedicate their to those who carried out the Balakot air strike are under examination of the poll panel. The poll authorities in Maharashtra's Latur, where he made the speech, have told that prima facie the comments are violative of its orders asking parties against using the armed forces in their campaigns.

The EC order to and Mayawati came soon after the 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 after lots of deliberation as it felt a clear message needed to go out to the politicians.

In its order, the commission said it "strongly condemns" the impugned statement made by the UP and "censured" him for "misconduct".

Using its constitutional powers, 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, the EC censured and "strongly" condemned Mayawati for her remarks, and barred her from campaigning for two days.

On different ban periods for the leaders, a said, "It is for the second time that Adityanath has been issued a show cause notice. On April 5, he was asked to be 'careful' in future, following his 'Modiji ki sena' remarks. Besides, Khan had faced a similar ban in 2014 for campaigning in UP."


"However, this is the first show cause and action against the BSP ... The severity of the action is, therefore, different," he said.

Adityanath was served the notice for his speech at a rally in Meerut, where he compared the elections to a contest between 'Ali', a revered figure in Islam, and 'Bajrang Bali' (a name for Hindu god Hanuman).

The poll panel observed that Adityanath, being a chief minister, has an "added responsibility to not only uphold the basic tenets, including secularism, of the Constitution of India, but also to display the same in his public appearances".

The EC said it is convinced that Adityanath made a "highly provocative" speech which had the "tone and tenor" to aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between religious communities.

The poll panel told Mayawati that being a senior leader, she should have "desisted" from making comments that have the "undertone and propensity to polarise the elections" in several constituencies due to the reach of the media.

A bench headed by had summoned a of the EC earlier on Tuesday while agreeing to examine the poll panel's contention that it has limited legal powers to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering.

During 2014 LS polls, the EC had imposed state-specific ban on and SP's from campaigning in for their controversial remarks. The ban on Shah was lifted in a few days after he assured the poll body that he would not disturb public tranquillity and law and order. Since Khan had not given a similar assurance, the ban on him had continued.

A similar ban was placed on in 2014 from campaigning in and for his controversial remarks that people who do not for will have to find a place in

Action against Maneka followed her remarks on Thursday when she asked Muslims to vote for her as they will need her once the elections are over.

In its order on Khan, the EC noted the "has not changed his way of campaigning and he is still indulging in using very objectionable language in election campaigning.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 15 2019. 23:15 IST
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