Lok Sabha polls 2019: EC bars Yogi, Maya, Azam, Maneka from campaigning

Are you toothless to deal with hate speech: SC to EC

The court had given the poll panel time till tomorrow to report on the action taken against the two prominent politicians for their controversial speeches.

Finding that her speech was highly provocative and violative of the MCC for its communal tone and tenor, the Commission has barred her from campaigning for a two day period starting tomorrow morning.

While Maywati has been pulled up for asking Muslims to vote for BSP-SP alliance, Yogi Adityanath has been reprimanded for his Ali vs Bajrang Bali campaign.

Days later, hitting out at Mayawati, Yogi Adityanath said, "If the Congress, the SP and the BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali" - a comment that triggered outraged protests from the opposition.

In another order, the commission also censured and "strongly" condemned Mayawati for her remarks.

On Thursday, the EC had issued show cause notices to Mayawati and UP CM Yogi Adityanath over their speeches violating Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

The BSP chief has violated the model code of conduct, the poll panel found.

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The bench made the observations while hearing a petition filed by an NRI yoga teacher based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seeking a direction to the Election Commission to take "strict action" against political parties if their spokespersons make remarks based on caste and religion in the media during elections. The SC bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had ordered the representative of EC to appear before it on Tuesday.

The apex court said then it was appropriate to examine the scope of powers of the poll panel which is also a constitutional body.

He compared the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between "Ali", a revered figure in Islam, and Bajrang Bali, the Hindu god Hanuman.

"The Commission observes that being the Chief Minister of a state, Yogi Adityanath 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 appearances/meetings/speeches as well", it added.

The EC had earlier asked her to explain her position on the matter in 24 hours of receiving the notice. 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.

Since Khan had not given a similar assurance, the ban on him had continued.

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