Punished for hate speech: EC bars Yogi, Mayawati from campaigning for making communal remarks

New Delhi: The Election Commission has taken serious note of the communal comments made by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP supremo Mayawati.

While Yogi has been barred them from campaigning for the next three days, Mayawati cannot campaign for two days.

Both were found to be guilty of violating the Model Code of Conduct and the two have also been “censured”.

It is believed that the commission can now take strict action against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan regarding comments against Jaya Prada. This order of the commission will be effective from 6am on Tuesday.

Poll panel’s action came on a day the top court pulled it up for not taking action in cases of Model Code violation.

The court asked EC if it was even aware of its powers to force errant political leaders to fall in line.

Within a couple of hours, the poll body — which earlier issued notices to Yogi Adiyanath and Mayawati — ordered a ban, using special powers under Article 324 of the Constitution.

Mayawati had told the Muslim community at a recent meeting in Deoband not to “split votes” between the Congress and her alliance. Appealing to caste or communal feelings to secure votes is a violation of the model code.

Days later, Yogi Adityanath hit out at Mayawati. The UP chief minister said, “If the Congress, the SP and the BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali” – a comment that led to angry protests from the opposition. While Ali is revered by Muslims as Prophet Mohammad’s successor, Bajrang Bali is another name for Lord Hanuman.