The Election Commission Tuesday imposed a fresh ban on Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan from campaigning for 48 hours for his provocative speeches against the local poll machinery and also making inflammatory communal remarks.
The Election Commission Tuesday imposed a fresh ban on Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan from campaigning for 48 hours for his provocative speeches against the local poll machinery and also making inflammatory communal remarks. This is the second time this month that the EC has imposed a ban on him. The fresh ban will come into force at 6.00 AM Wednesday.
Earlier he was barred from campaigning for 72 hours for his ‘khaki underwear’ jibe at BJP candidate Jaya Prada. He was issued a show cause notice for making inflammatory remarks at various places in Uttar Pradeh in the past few days. Giving instances of his remarks, the EC had said on one occasion, he had allegedly said that “fascists are trying to kill him”. On another occasion, he had allegedly claimed that the prime minister has killed Muslims. He had also allegedly said that criminals were occupying constitutional posts, in an apparent dig at Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh.
The EC pointed out that FlRs have been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of the People Act against him in the cases. The notice had also pointed out that the Supreme Court has noted that religion and caste cannot be used by anyone while making any statement during electioneering. While this year’s two bans are pan India, Khan had faced a similar UP-centric ban in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls for his inflammatory remarks.
In his reply, Khan had apologised for his remarks, but the EC “strongly condemned” him and “warned” him from repeating “misconduct” in future. Using its constitutional powers, the Commission barred him from holding rallies, campaigning, giving statements to media for the next 48 hours beginning 6.00 AM Wednesday. The poll panel said he has violated the provisions of the model code dealing with making communal remarks and “intimidation” of voters. The order did not specifically mention where he had made speeches against district poll machinery. Khan is a candidate from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.