The election commission on Monday barred the veteran SP leader Azam Khan from election campaigning after his controversial ‘underwear’ comment on Jaya Prada for three days and BJP’s Union Minister Maneka Gandhi for 48 hours for her communal comments.
The Commission’s action came hours after the Supreme Court pulled it up for failing to take action in cases of Model Code violation and questioning if it knew what powers it has to punish errant political leaders.
Maneka Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, had asked a gathering of Muslims to vote for her, saying otherwise else she might not be inclined to be responsive to their requests.
Earlier BJP’s Yogi Adithyanath and BSP leader Mayawati got the Election Commission’s action on their aggressive remarks.
At a recent meeting in Deoband, Mayawati had warned the Muslim community not to “split votes” between the Congress and her alliance. Appealing to caste or communal feelings to secure votes is a no-no under the model code, which is a series of dos and don’ts for political parties ahead of elections.
Days later, hitting out at Mayawati, Yogi Adityanath said, “If the Congress, the SP and the BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali” – a comment that triggered outraged protests from the opposition. While Ali is revered by Muslims as Prophet Mohammad’s successor, Bajrang Bali is another name for Lord Hanuman.