The Election Commission (EC) on Monday, 15 April, banned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati from campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, for 72 hours and 48 hours respectively, for violating Model Code of Conduct by making objectionable statements in their speeches. This order is effective from 6 am on Tuesday, 16 April.
Earlier in the day, the apex court took note of the alleged hate speeches made by BSP supremo Mayawati and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during poll campaign and sought to know from the EC the action initiated against them so far.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi summoned a representative of the EC for Tuesday while agreeing to examine the poll panel’s contention that it has limited legal power to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering.
The bench referred to submissions of the EC that they can issue notice, then advisory and finally lodge a complaint against an errant politician for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by giving hate speeches based on caste and religion during campaign.
“The EC says they are toothless. They say that they first issue notice, then advisory and then complain,” the bench said, adding it would examine the aspect relating to poll panel’s power to deal with hate speeches during poll campaign.