Facing EC’s gag order, Yogi Adityanath offers prayers at Hanuman templehttps://indianexpress.com/elections/ec-yogi-adityanath-offers-prayers-hanuman-temple-lok-sabha-elections-5678801/

Facing EC’s gag order, Yogi Adityanath offers prayers at Hanuman temple

The Election Commission Monday barred Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours starting 6 am Tuesday for his "divisive" comments at a rally in Meerut.

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. (File)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the famous Hanuman Setu temple here and offered prayers Tuesday, a day after the Election Commission barred him from electioneering for 72 hours for likening the ongoing Lok Sabha polls to a contest between ‘Ali’ and ‘Bajrang Bali’.

The chief minister who arrived in the temple to a rousing reception by his supporters amid slogans of “Jai Gorakhdham” and “Jai Bajrangbali ji” refused to take questions from the mediapersons, following the poll panel’s gag order.

He spent about 25 minutes at the temple and was seen bowing before the deity and sitting with folded hands to recite “Hanuman Chalisa.”

Though he accepted greetings from the large numbers of morning worshippers present there on a Tuesday, the day dedicated to Lord Hanuman, with a smile, he refrained from interacting with them.

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Owing to the poll panel’s gag order, the chief minister also stayed away from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s road show Tuesday before he filed the nomination paper by him for the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.

The chief minister also cancelled his rallies in Nagina and Fatehpur Sikri.

The BJP termed the chief minister’s visit to the temple “a personal one”.

The Election Commission Monday barred Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours starting 6 am Tuesday for his “divisive” comments at a rally in Meerut.

“If the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the BSP have faith in Ali, we too have faith in Bajrang Bali,” he had said there.

While Ali is a revered figure in Islam, Bajrang Bali is Lord Hanuman’s another name.