The Election Commission’s decision to bar Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for 48 and 72 hours respectively, from attending any public meeting, procession, rallies or road shows following their alleged “provocative speech”, came a day before both the leaders were scheduled to hold key campaign events.
Mayawati was scheduled to address a joint rally of the SP-BSP alliance in Agra on Tuesday, while Adityanath was to participate in the nomination road show of Union Minister and Lucknow candidate, Rajnath Singh. The UP CM was also scheduled to address a rally in Nagina in favour of sitting MP and candidate Yashwant Singh and a rally in Karnataka on Wednesday.
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The decision would affect the plan to organise a joint rally of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Agra on the last day of campaigning for the second phase of elections in eight seats — Agra, Nagina, Amroha, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura and Fatehpur Sikri. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appealed to the Election Commission to review its decision. “A joint rally of the alliance was planned in Agra on Tuesday but now Mayawati ji would not be able to attend. Nothing has been decided about the future course of action. Discussions are on and a decision is likely by late night,” said Rajendra Chaudhary, spokesperson of the Samajwadi Party.
BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey made an appeal to the Election Commission to review its order, claiming that Adityanath was only remembering his deity and demanded that action should instead be taken against BSP chief Mayawati and SP leader Azam Khan.
“BJP is a disciplined political party and we respect the decision of the Election Commission but the restriction of 72 hours of Yogi Adityanath is a very strict measure. I request the EC to note that Yogi Adityanath neither provoked any religious sentiments nor sought votes on religious lines,” said Pandey.
“He was only remembering his deity, whereas it was Mayawati and Azam Khan, who directly tried to provoke religious sentiments and made community-specific appeal for votes. Strict action should be taken against them. I make an appeal to the Election Commission to review their decision,” he added.