Election Commission bars Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati from campaigning for Ali-Bajrang Bali remark: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday barred Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for next 48 hours and 72 hours, respectively over violation of model code of conduct during their election campaigns in the ensuing 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Election Commission cracked its whip against both Yogi Adityanath and Mayawati after the Supreme Court questioned the poll body what action it has initiated against the political leaders who are openly violating the Model Code of Conduct.

On April 9, Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stoked controversy after he dubbed the Muslim League a “virus” and suggested that Hindu and Muslim voters are in an “Ali-Bajrang Bali” contest. Attacking BSP chief Mayawati for appealing Muslims to cast their vote in favour of the SP-BSP in Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath said if the Congress, the SP and the BSP (Mahagathbandhan alliance) have faith in Ali, then we (BJP) too have faith in Bajrang Bali (Agar Congress, SP, BSP ko Ali par vishwaas hai, toh humein bhi Bajrang Bali par vishwaas hai).

Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateswarlu had forwarded the factual report on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s controversial “Ali-Bajrang Bali” remark to the Election Commission of India after he received it from the Meerut Returning Officer. Taking notice of the sensitivity of the matter, the Chief Election Observer had sought a report from the Meerut District Magistrate by 11 am on Wednesday and that was forwarded to the ECI.

However, this not for the first time that Yogi Adityanath has made the “Ali and Bajrangbali” remark. Reports said he had used the phrase at an election meeting in Bhopal in 2018.

In Hindu mythology, Lord Hanuman is often called Bajrang Bali while Muslims consider Ali as a revered figure in Islam.

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