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Mayawati's nephew, Azam Khan's son fill in for them; campaigning ends for 8 UP seats

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

BSP Mayawati's Azam Khan's son Tuesday filled in for the two heavyweights on Tuesday, the final day of electioneering for the second phase of polling in the state.

The had Monday barred the two leaders as well as UP Minister and BJP's from campaigning for varying periods over violations of the moral code of conduct.

The leaders stayed away from the campaign, but marked their presence in other ways.

supremo's nephew delivered his first political speech in Nagina, where was initially scheduled to address a joint opposition alliance meeting. Azam Khan's son addressed a press conference in Rampur, criticising the EC order.

prayed at a Hanuman temple in Lucknow, a day after the EC's issued the order frowning at his Ali-Bajrang Bali remark, seemingly framing the election as a contest between Hindus and Muslims.

Campaigning for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in ended Tuesday evening.

Elections will be held on eight seats on April 18 -- Nagina (SC), Amroha, Bulandshahr (SC), Aligarh, Hathras (SC), Mathura, (SC) and

Adityanath followed the EC order, keeping away from the meetings he was scheduled to address in second-phase constituencies of Nagina and

He also skipped Rajnath Singh's road show, held before he filed his nomination as the BJP candidate from

Instead, Adityanath prayed at the well-known in the state capital, refusing to interact with other worshippers.

skipped the joint opposition alliance rally in Agra, which too goes to the polls on April 18.

But her nephew delivered his first political speech there, watched on by Akhilesh Yadav, and BSP's S C Mishra.

"People in such large numbers have come here on the appeal of my aunt, for which I am thankful, he said.

He said the victory of the alliance candidates will be a "proper reply" to the Election Commission, ending his brief address with the 'Jai Bhim, Jai Bharat" slogan.

is the son of Mayawati's brother Anand and had begun appearing in public with her, but not as a

While didn't campaign Tuesday following the EC reprimand, his son courted controversy by claiming that the leader was targeted because he is a Muslim.

The EC had ordered to suspend his campaign over a khakhi underwear jibe at BJP candidate

"No action was taken when the BJP candidate stated on that she is coming to Rampur to bring an end to the regime of a demon," told reporters in his father's constituency.

He maintained there was no mention of her in his father's speech and he has been barred only because he is a Muslim".

Abdullah termed the gag order an attempt by the EC to please the after the poll panel banned from campaigning.

The EC had taken objection to Adityanath's remark suggesting that while the BSP and the SP had faith in Ali, the BJP believed in Bajrang Bali, or Lord Hanuman.

This was in rejoinder to Mayawati's appeal for Muslim votes at an earlier rally in Deoband, which got her banned for 48 hours.

Adityanath, barred from campaigning for 72 hours, had also called the Indian Union in a green virus.

Among the candidates in the fray in UP in the second phase are two actors-turned-politicians -- BJP's is contesting from Mathura and UP chief has been fielded in

UP SP Baghel (BJP) is contesting for the (SC) seat.

Kunwar Danish Ali, who till recently was of the Janata Dal-Secular, is contesting on the BSP ticket from Amroha against BJP's

There are 85 candidates in the fray in Thursday's polling -- Nagina (7), Amroha (10), Bulandshahr (9), Aligarh (14), Hathras (8), Mathura (13), (9) and Fatehpur Sikri (15).

According to the Election Commission, 1,40,76,635 people are registered to vote at 16,162 booths in 8,751 polling centres spread across these constituencies.

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

First Published: Tue, April 16 2019. 18:25 IST