EC bars Azam Khan over khaki underwear remark, Maneka Gandhi over warning Muslim voters: The Election Commission (EC) Monday cracked the whip on Azam Khan and Jaya Prada for violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The poll panel barred Samajwadi Party leader from campaigning for three days while BJP leader was stopped for two days. On last Sunday, Khan took an all-time low while addressing a rally in Rampur Lok Sabha constituency. Senior SP leader said he introduced Bollywood-turned-politician to the streets of Rampur and people of the country took 17 years to understand her but he realised Jaya in just 17 days. Khan went on to say that he even realised Jaya is wearing khaki underwear.
The BJP Union Minister Maneka Gandhi was punished for asking Muslims to vote for her or else she would not help them after winning the Sultanpur seat. Addressing a rally, Maneka warned Muslim voters to not vote for other candidates as she would definitely win the polls. The three-minute video clip of her speech went viral on the social media and she was severely criticised for the polarising statement.
After EC’s ban, both Khan and Maneka would miss the last day of the poll campaigning for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections. In the second phase of the national polls, eight seats in Uttar Pradesh would witness voting. These include Agra, Aligarh, Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura, Bulandshahr, Nagina, Amroha and Hathras.
Similarly, the EC cracked its whip on Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for violating the Model Code of Conduct. Addressing a poll gathering in Meerut on April 9, UP CM had compared the Lok Sabha polls a contest between Ali, a revered religious figure in Islam and Bajrangbali.
While Mayawati had asked Muslims in Deoband to not get votes divided by voting for the Congress. Reacting to the announcement of the EC’s punishment, former UP CM said that the ban is a one-sided decision. She added that the EC has denied her the right to freedom of speech and expression.