BSP Supremo Challenges 48-Hour Campaign Ban In Top Court

BSP Supremo Challenges 48-Hour Campaign Ban In Top Court

BSP Supremo Challenges 48-Hour Campaign Ban In Top Court (file image)

New Delhi:  BSP Supremo Mayawati's plea that challenged a ban on her from campaigning for 48 hours by the Election Commission was turned down by the Supreme Court today. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said that "It seems the Election Commission has woken up by our orders and barred various politicians from campaigning for varying timing. This makes it clear no further orders are required now."

Mayawati, at a recent meeting in Deoband had warned the Muslim community not to "split votes" between the Congress and her alliance. Appealing to caste or communal feelings to secure votes is a no-no under the model code, which is a series of dos and don'ts for political parties ahead of elections.

On Monday, the Election Commission also barred Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, from campaigning for three days for his communal comments. Responding to Mayawati, he had said, "If the Congress, the SP and the BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali". While Ali is revered by Muslims as Prophet Mohammad's successor, Bajrang Bali is another name for Lord Hanuman.

The poll body recently faced opposition allegations that it was soft on leaders of the ruling party violating the election code.

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has been barred from campaigning for three days for his "indecent and derogatory" comment against Jaya Prada. Union minister Maneka Gandhi has been barred from campaigning for 48 hours for communal comments, the EC said

The Election Commission's action this time came on a day the Top Court pulled it up for failing to take action in cases of code violation and questioning if it was even aware of its powers to force errant political leaders to fall in line.

The Top Court was hearing an appeal seeking action against political parties using use religion and caste to seek votes - was extremely upset when the Election Commission's representative said, "We don't have any powers. We can't bar them from contesting. We can de-recognise them".