The last day of campaigning for the second phase of Lok Sabha election saw star campaigners from the BJP, Congress pushing hard to woo the voters. PM Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Rahul Gandhi held rallies across the country to win voters for their parties. Polling on 97 Lok Sabha constituencies spread over 13 states and one Union Territory will be held on Thursday, April 18.
Addressing an election rally in Kollam, Karnataka, Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP, RSS of trying to ‘erase the idea of Congress’. “No matter how many times you (BJP/RSS) attack us, we will use love and non-violence to convince you are wrong,” Rahul Gandhi said.
However, leaders like Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi were missing in action as they have been barred by the Election Commission for violating the Model Code of Conduct. Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has also been banned from speaking for making derogatory remark against his rival on Rampur seat BJP’s Jaya Prada.
While Yogi Adityanath, Maneka Gandhi cannot campaign anywhere in the country for the next 72 hours, Mayawati has been banned for 48 hours for what the Election Commission for their provocative communal remarks which the central poll panel said had the “propensity to polarise the elections”. This is probably for the first time that the Election Commission has banned top leaders for violating poll conduct.