The Election Commission on Monday banned Union minister Maneka Gandhi from campaigning for 48 hours and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for 72 hours for violating the Model Code of Conduct, ANI reported. The bans will begin at 10 am on Tuesday.
Gandhi appeared to have threatened Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur on April 11 during a rally, saying that she will not work for them if they do not cast their ballot for her. “I am winning, but if my victory is without Muslims, I will not feel good, because then there is a bitter feeling,” Gandhi was heard saying. “If Muslims come for some work after that I will think ‘why bother’. Because employment is a negotiation after all, isn’t that right? We are not Mahatma Gandhi’s children to keep giving without getting anything in return.”
Khan, on the other hand, reportedly said at a rally in Rampur that the colour of “the current Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate’s” underwear is khaki. BJP leader Jaya Prada is the party’s nominee for Rampur.
Prada, who is a former leader of the Samajwadi Party and parliamentarian from Rampur, joined the BJP on March 26. She was expelled from the Samajwadi Party in 2010 for siding with former leader Amar Singh, who had also been removed. The year before, she had accused Khan of circulating morphed images of her.