The Election Commission on Monday barred Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan from campaigning for 72 hours and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi for 48 hours starting from 10 am on Tuesday for violating Model Code of Conduct. The veteran Samajwadi Party leader has stoked a controversy with an inappropriate remark against film actor and BJP candidate Jaya Prada, fighting the Lok Sabha polls from Rampur against him.
Khan, without taking names, on Sunday had said it took “you 17 years to understand her reality” but, “I could recognise it in 17 days that she wears a khaki underwear”. The BJP claimed that the comment was made against Prada, who is fighting the Lok Sabha polls against the Samajwadi Party (SP) leader.
Kicking up a political storm, Union minister Maneka Gandhi warned the Muslim community that if they do not vote for her, she will not “help” them in future. A video clip of her political rally in Sultanpur Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday showed the minister telling voters that it is all about “give and take”. The three-minute clip has gone viral on various social media platforms.
On Friday, the Congress on Friday moved the Election Commission against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly “dragging” the armed forces in the political domain and over Union minister Maneka Gandhi’s remarks on Muslims. The party had demanded that an FIR be registered against Maneka Gandhi and cancel her nomination.
Earlier in the day, the EC had barred UP chief minister Adityanath for 72 hours for 48 hours for their religious comments.
The actor-turned-politician, who was earlier with the SP and has now been pitted by the BJP against Khan from Rampur Lok Sabha seat, demanded his immediate disqualification from contesting polls and said she had considered him a brother but he has now crossed the ‘lakshman rekha’.
After examining the remarks made at an election rally on Sunday by Khan, the Election Commission on Monday night imposed a nationwide ban on him from campaigning for 72 hours, beginning Tuesday.
During the last Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the EC had imposed a ban on Khan from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh for his provocative speeches and had also lodged an FIR against him.
Khan, however, remained defiant and said he did not name any person in his speech and if anyone proves that he had taken any name or maligned anyone then he would not contest the polls.