The Election Commission of India (ECI) has barred Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan from election campaigning for 48 hours starting from 6 am on Wednesday for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) with his "highly provocative" speeches in which he "appealed to secure votes on religious lines".
The Commission observed that "Azam Khan has made highly provocative speeches in his public utterances against the district election machinery and also on religious lines that have the propensity to polarize the elections, which is not confined to the constituency alone where the statement is made, but to other parts as well due to fast dissemination of information in this digital age."
"Under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in this behalf, bars Azam Khan from holding ant public meetings, public processions , public rallies, road shows, and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print , social) etc. in connection with ongoing elections for 48 hours from 6 am on 1 May," said the Election Commission.
Earlier on April 15, the apex poll body had barred Azam Khan from campaigning for 72 hours. This came after Azam made a derogatory remark against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada, the BJP candidate from Rampur while addressing an election rally.
Also, a case has been registered against Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan on April 27 for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during his speech in an election rally at Rampur on April 25.
The EC has also warned Azam Khan not to repeat "such misconducts" in future.
"The Commission strongly condemns the impugned statements made by him during election campaign held at Rampur and Warns Azam Khan not to repeat such misconduct in future," said the Commission's order.