Maneka Gandhi, Azam Khan debarred from election campaign

The Election Commission has banned Maneka Gandhi from the polling campaign for 48 hours while Ajam Khan has been banned for 72 hours

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New Delhi: The Election Commission has banned Union Minister and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi and Samajwadi Party candidate Azam Khan from campaigning for the Lok Sabha election.

The commission has banned Maneka Gandhi for 48 hours while Ajam Khan has been banned for 72 hours. This order will be effective from 10 AM on Tuesday.

The commission accepted the complaints against the election speeches of Union Minister and BJP candidate from Sultanpur Maneka Gandhi and former Uttar Pradesh minister and Rampur’s Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Mohammed Azam Khan.

Gandhi had made an “objectionable” comment on 11 April, demanding votes from Muslims in the election rally as BJP candidate of the Sultanpur Lok Sabha seat.

Chief election officer Lakku Venkateshwarlu had sought a detailed report from the DM of Sultanpur, which was sent to the commission on 12 April.

On 13 April, the commission issued a show-cause notice to Maneka.

The National Women’s Commission had complained about Khan to the Election Commission after the SP candidate from Rampur LS seat made crass comments about BJP candidate and film actress Jaya Prada. The commission took cognisance of this transgression too after a detailed report from the chief election officer on the campaign on Sunday, 14 April, was received from the DM of Rampur.

Additional chief election officer of the State Brahmadev Tiwari said, the report, along with a video recording of Azam Khan’s speech, was sent to the Election Commission, after which the commission took this decision.

On Thursday, 4 April, an FIR had been lodged against Samajwadi Party’s district president Firoz Khan for allegedly making objectionable statements against Rampur BJP candidate Jaya Prada.

So far, 3,135 cases of violation of the model code of conduct have been filed. These include cases of unauthorised use of vehicles in the campaign, unauthorised public meetings, use of loudspeakers, provocative speeches, temptations etc. As many as 900 FIRs have been registered.