New Delhi: The Election Commission of India banned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati from election campaigning for 72 and 48 hours respectively, over violation of Model Code of Conduct. The ban will come into effect from April 15, 6 AM.

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Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had also expressed displeasure with the poll panel ‘having limited power to act against leaders like Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath making statements along religious lines and violating the model code of conduct during elections’. The SC bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had ordered the representative of EC to appear before it on Tuesday.

According to reports, the Election Commission “condemned” the two speeches and “censured” the politicians before issuing a gag order.

A report in the Hindustan Times, quoted the EC panel, “The Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in this behalf, bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances (electronic, print, social media) etc in connection with ongoing elections for 72 hours from 6 am on 16 April 2019,” the panel said.

The poll body had issued a notice to Yogi Adityanath over his recent ‘Bajrang Bali and Ali’ remarks while addressing an election rally in Meerut, whereas Mayawati was issued one over her appeal to Muslims to not ‘divide votes by voting for Congress’ remarks at the Deoband rally.

Yogi Adityanath on April 10 said, “Agar Congress, SP, BSP ko Ali par vishwaas hai, toh humein bhi Bajrang Bali par vishwaas hai (If the Congress, the SP and the BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali.”

Whereas, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minsiter and BSP chief Mayawati received flak for her statement on April 7, “Don’t get divided, vote en masse for Gathbandhan. We have BSP vote in every seat, SP is also mobilised. If Muslims want BJP to lose, they have to stand firmly behind Gathbandhan.”