Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati censured, barred from campaigning for 72, 48 hours respectively

Yogi Adityanath has been banned by India's election watchdog from campaigning for three days

The Election Commission issued two separate orders against Adityanath and Mayawati, which came hours after the Supreme Court, on Monday, took cognisance of the "hate speeches" made by the two leaders during campaigning.

Finding that her speech was highly provocative and violative of the MCC for its communal tone and tenor, the Commission has barred her from campaigning for a two day period starting tomorrow morning.

At a recent meeting in Deoband, Mayawati had warned the Muslim community not to "split votes" between the Congress and her alliance.

"This is the first show cause and action against the BSP president ... the severity of the action is, therefore, different", he said.

"If you (Opposition) have faith in Ali, we have faith in Bajrangbali", Adityanath said at a rally.

The orders, in which the Election Commission censured the four politicians, also prevent them from giving interviews or making any comment on the electronic, print orsocial media in connection with the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

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The development comes after the Supreme Court today expressed displeasure with the EC "having limited power to act against leaders like Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath making statements along religious lines and violating the model code of conduct during elections".

A SC bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ordered the representative of EC to appear before it on Tuesday.

During the hearing, the bench asked the counsel for EC as to what action they have taken against Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath for alleged hate speeches.

Adityanath had made controversial remarks about the Muslim League and had dubbed them as a "green virus" while suggesting that Hindu and Muslim voters are facing off in a "Ali-Bajrang Bali" contest.

In its order on Adityanath, the poll panel observed that being the chief minister of a state, he has an "added responsibility to not only uphold the basic tenets, including secularism, of the Constitution of India, but also to display the same in his public appearances". The Election Commission told the court that it can merely issue notice, then an advisory and lodge a criminal complaint in the case of repeated violations. But there is a clear precedent from 2014 Lok Sabha elections when BJP's Amit Shah and Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan were barred from campaigning for the remaining duration of the election after they failed to stick to the model code of conduct.

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