Mayawati says EC turning blind eye to Yogi Adityanath’s temple visits despite campaign ban

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New Delhi | Published: April 18, 2019 10:57:25 AM

The Election Commission had on Monday banned Yogi Adityanath for 72 hours from election campaigning while Mayawati was barred from the same for 48 hours.

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The Election Commission has turned a blind eye to blatant attempts by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to derive electoral benefits through his temple visits, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said today. The former CM, whose party is contesting elections in alliance with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, took to Twitter this morning and said that Adityanath’s visits to temples and Dalits’ homes was an open violation of the three-day campaign ban he was handed by the poll panel.

Accusing the Election Commission of favouring the chief minister, Mayawati said, “In a flagrant violation of the Election commission’s ban – UP CM Yogi Adityanath went around the city, paid visits to temples and ate ‘outside’ food at a Dalit home among others, made persistent attempts for electoral gains from the media telecast of the same but the Commission is still kind to him, why?”

The Election Commission had on Monday banned Yogi Adityanath for 72 hours from election campaigning while Mayawati was barred from the same for 48 hours. During this time, the saffron-robed chief minister went to many temples in Lucknow and Ayodhya. In Ayodhya, he reached a Dalit’s house and ate food there. While he stuck to a private tour and did not campaign for any election, his visits created a buzz in the media leading to Mayawati raising questions on the EC’s bipartisan role.

Campaign ban by EC
Addressing a large gathering at a joint rally with Akhilesh Yadav and Ajit Singh, another partner of the Mahagathbandhan, in Deoband, Mayawati had urged Muslims not to divide their votes between the Congress and her alliance. “I appeal to Muslims not to get carried away and vote for the Congress. Ensure that you stay united and vote for the Mahagathbandhan,” she said.

READ ALSO |EC suspends Karnataka official who searched PM Modi’s chopper in Odisha

In response, BJP’s firebrand leader Yogi Adityanath had said, “If the Congress, the SP and the BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali. The opposition has acknowledged that the followers of Bajrang Bali will not vote for them.” He was addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.

Earlier, the EC served Adityanath two notices for his comments and eventually banned him after the Supreme Court criticised the poll panel for not taking action in cases of violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Twitter removes Yogi Adityanath’s controversial tweets
Meanwhile, Twitter has also removed Yogi Adityanath’s controversial tweets from his official Twitter handle after a directive from the Election Commission, news agency PTI reported.

Yogi Adityanath’s Hindi tweet had read, “The Muslim League is a virus. If someone is affected by this virus, he cannot survive, and today’s main opposition party is affected by it. Know what will happen if they win? This virus will spread through the entire nation.”

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