‘Looks like you found your powers’: SC to Election Commission after campaign crackdown on erring netas

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New Delhi | Published: April 16, 2019 12:02:11 PM

Lok Sabha elections 2019: The Election Commission today submitted before the top court that it has taken action against the erring leaders.

 BSP, Mayawati, UP chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi Party, Azam Khan, Maneka Gandhi, eelction commission of india, 019 general elections, modi, UPA, NDA, lok sabha elections, code of conduct (Image source: File/PTI)

A day after the Election Commission acted against four top leaders for violation of the model code of conduct, the Supreme Court today took note of the poll panel’s orders and observed that the EC had finally woken up. “Looks like you found your powers,” the top court said in a lighter vein, addressing the advocate representing the poll panel.

The SC’s observation comes a day after it had come down hard on the poll body over its failure to act against leaders for making communally charged statements in clear violation of the poll code. The EC had come in for criticism from several quarters over its inaction on incidents that were clear violations of the model code of conduct.

On Monday, the Election Commission cracked down on BSP supremo Mayawati, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and Union minister Maneka Gandhi and barred them from campaigning for varied durations. While Mayawati and Maneka got away with a 48-hour ban, Yogi and Azam Khan were barred from campaigning for three days starting Tuesday.

The Election Commission today submitted before the top court that it has taken action against the erring leaders. The SC took note of the orders and ruled that it did not find it necessary to pass any further orders. A request by Mayawati to intervene was also turned down by the top court.

BSP supremo Mayawati had issued an open appeal to Muslims during a public meeting at UP’s Deoband asking them not to divide their votes between the Congress and the Mahagathbandhan which she is part of. Appealing to voters on the lines of religion is a violation of the model code of conduct.

The same offence was committed by Yogi Adityanath when he countered Mayawati’s appeal with “if Congress believes in Ali, we have Bajrang Bali”, pitting the belief of Muslims against that of Hindus.

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Maneka Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Sultanpur, landed in soup when she said in address to Muslims, “I will win even without your support but I won’t feel that good. Then when a Muslim comes to me for work, I think, ‘Let it be, how does it matter’? It’s all give and take, isn’t it?”. The EC handed Maneka a two-day ban for appealing to caste and communal feelings as well as inciting hatred and bribery.

Azam Khan’s comments against his BJP rival candidate Jaya Prada hogged all the media limelight since Sunday. Azam Khan’s derogatory slur against the woman candidate earned him a ban from campaigning for three days for being “repugnant to the honour and dignity of women”.

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