SC Refuses to Hear Mayawati’s Plea on EC’s 48-Hour Campaigning Ban
Taking note of the Election Commission’s actions against hate speech by politicians, the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 16 April, refused to hear BSP chief Mayawati’s plea against the EC’s 48-hour ban on campaigning.
To the EC, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “Seems like you got powers." Senior Advocate Aryama Sundaram appearing for Election Commission, replied saying, “We found we have several powers.”
The EC, on Monday, 15 April, had banned Mayawati from campaigning for 48 hours, effective 6 am on Tuesday. The EC also banned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning for 72 hours for violating the Model Code of Conduct.
The Supreme Court had on Monday expressed displeasure over the EC not taking quick action against politicians for communal and hate speeches during the Lok Sabha campaigning and decided to examine the ambit of its power following submission that it was "toothless".
One-Sided Decision: Mayawati on EC’s Ban on Campaigning for 48 Hrs
Mayawati had on Monday alleged that the Election Commission has given a “one-sided decision” and that she has been “denied the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression,” according to ANI.
Defending her remarks, Mayawati said that she had not incited any religious sentiments through her speech. “I didn’t ask for votes from a particular community,” she added.
The BSP supremo further alleged that she was not given a hearing and that the EC had given freedom to the BJP by not initiating any inquiry against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for invoking the defence forces in election speeches.
Mayawati was issued the notice for her speech in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoband appealing to Muslims to not vote for a particular party. The BSP chief had prima facie violated the model code of conduct, the poll panel said.
Adityanath was served the notice for his "Ali" and "Bajrang Bali" remarks while addressing a rally in Meerut. He compared the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between 'Ali', a revered figure in Islam, and Bajrang Bali, the Hindu god Hanuman.
The two separate EC orders, said that they have also been “censured” for violating the Model Code of Conduct.
(With inputs from ANI.)