The Election Commission on Tuesday banned Samajwadi Party’s Rampur candidate Azam Khan from campaigning for 48 hours for his provocative remarks about poll authorities in Uttar Pradesh and for attempting to secure votes along religious lines, PTI reported.

This is the second time the poll panel has banned Khan this month. The order will come into force at 6 am on Wednesday.

The Election Commission’s order did not specify where the Samajwadi Party leader had made speeches against the district poll machinery. The poll panel observed that Khan had also appealed for votes along religious lines, thereby violating the Model Code of Conduct.

In its order, the commission observed that his objectionable speeches have the “propensity to polarise the elections, which is not confined to the constituency only where the statement is made, but to the other parts as well due to fast dissemination of information in this digital age”.

The poll panel issued a notice to Khan after receiving video clips of his speeches in Rampur between April 7 and April 12 from the Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer. In one instance, the Samajwadi Party leader had claimed that “fascists are trying to kill him”, the Election Commission said, while on another occasion he had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of killing Muslims.

In his reply to the poll panel on April 17, Khan apologised for his remarks and promised to restrain himself from using expressions that may be deemed objectionable.

On April 14, Khan had 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. The following day, the Election Commission banned him from campaigning for 72 hours.