The Election Commission on Thursday issued a show cause notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath for comparing the Lok Sabha polls to a contest between Ali and Bajrang Bali, and another to Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati for her speech urging the Muslim community to not divide votes by choosing the Congress.

Ali is a revered figure in Islam and Bajrang Bali is the Hindu god Hanuman. On Tuesday, Adityanath had suggested that the Bharatiya Janata Party will win the elections as it has faith in Bajrang Bali.

The poll panel’s initial investigation has found them guilty of violating the Model Code of Conduct and asked them to respond to the notices by Friday evening.

“Agar Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party ko Ali par vishwas hai, toh humein Bajrang Bali par vishwas hai [If the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have faith in Ali, we have faith in Hanuman],” Adityanath had said at a rally in Meerut on April 9.

On April 7, the chief electoral officer of Uttar Pradesh had sought a report from authorities in Saharanpur about a speech made by Mayawati in Deoband earlier in the day. During a joint rally with alliance partners Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal, she had said: “In western UP, where people of all communities Saharanpur, Bareilly, where there is a huge Muslim population...I want to tell the Muslim community...don’t divide your votes...give it to the BSP, SP and RLD alliance.”

On April 6, the Congress had accused the Election Commission of being lenient towards the Bharatiya Janata Party’s alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct for the elections. The party had cited the poll panel’s decision to let Adityanath off with a warning after he “insulted the Indian Army by referring to it as Modi’s Sena”.