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The Election Commission of India has pulled up Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Maneka Gandhi and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan for violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
In view of the same, both Gandhi and Khan have been temporarily barred from carrying out campaign work for the 2019 General Elections. Two orders passed were passed to this effect yesterday.
In Maneka Gandhi’s case, the Election Commission has reprimanded the incumbent Union Minister for Child and Women Development for making communal statements during a meeting held in Sultanpur. During the said meeting, held last week, she is reported to have warned Muslim voters that she cannot be expected to work for them once in power if they do not vote for her.
Viewing this statement as a violation of Paras 3 and 4 of Part I of the MCC, the Election Commission has invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to temporarily bar her from doing campaign work. By its order, Maneka Gandhi has been banned from campaigning for a 48-hour period starting from 10:00 am on April 16 (today).
SP’s Azam Khan has been served a 72-hour ban on carrying out campaign work starting at 10:00 am today after he made indecent and repugnant statements reportedly aimed at BJP candidate Jaya Prada from the Rampur constituency. For his statements, an FIR has also been lodged under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Taking strong objection to these statements, the Election Commission has noted,
“… the impugned statement made by Sh Azam Khan is not only indecent but also derogatory and totally uncalled for.“
Further, the Election Commission also noted that Azam Khan had been found guilty of making provocative statements in violation of the MCC during the 2014 General Elections as well. As observed in its order,
“… Sh AzamKhan has not changed his way of campaigning and he is still indulging in using very objectionable language in election campaigning.”
In view of the same, the Commission has imposed a three-day ban on Azam Khan from carrying out any electoral campaign work starting 10:00 am today.
So far, the Election Commission has pulled up four political players from Uttar Pradesh for violating the MCC. Yesterday, the Commission had temporarily barred BJP’s Yogi Adityanath and BSP’s Mayawati from carrying out campaign work for making communally charged speeches.
These developments emerged after the Supreme Court yesterday pulled up the Election Commission for apparently acting toothless in the face of MCC violations by political spokespersons. The Court had also summoned a representative of the Commission to examine the issue. However, in view of the latest series of punitive orders passed against candidates violating the MCC, the Court today refrained from issuing any orders in the matter for now.
Read the ECI order pertaining to Maneka Gandhi:
Read the ECI order pertaining to Azam Khan: