The Election Commission (EC) hardened its stance towards politicians violating the model code of conducting, barring Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi from campaigning ahead of the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls.
Khan was barred from campaigning for 72 hours over his insensitive remarks allegedly aimed at Jaya Prada, BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Rampur. While addressing a rally in Rampur on Sunday, he had said, "People of Rampur, people of Uttar Pradesh and people of India, it took you 17 years to understand her reality. But, I could recognise it in 17 days that she wears a khaki underwear," he had said. The video of Khan's speech went viral on social media platforms.
An FIR was registered Monday against Khan for his remarks under the Indian Penal Code's Section 509 and provisions of the Representation of the People Act.
Jaya Prada said, "(He has) crossed the lakshman rekhaa (his limits) this time. He is no longer a brother to me. I had considered him as my brother and tolerated everything, but now I cannot tolerate (this)."
BJP leader Maneka was barred for campaigning for 48 hours for telling Muslims at a rally in Sultanpur last week to vote for her as they will need her once the Lok Sabha elections are over.
"I am winning because of the help and love of the people. But if my victory is without the Muslims, I will not feel very good. If Muslims come for some work after this, I will think why bother, what difference will it make. We are not Mahatma Gandhi's children to keep giving without getting anything in return," she had said, inviting the ire of the Opposition.
The Election Commission’s decision to bar Khan and Maneka from campaigning came hours after imposing simlar bans on Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for 48 hours and 72 hours, respectively.
While Mayawati faced this punitive action for passing communal remarks at a Deoband rally, Adityanath was pulled up for his controversial 'Ali Bajrang Bali' statement.
The bans on campaigning by Khan and Maneka will come into effect at 10 am on Tuesday. While Rampur will vote on 23 May, Sultanpur will vote on 12 May. The model code of conduct came into effect on 10 March.
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Updated Date: Apr 15, 2019 22:29:22 IST