EC: Azam Khan cannot campaign for 72 hours, Maneka for 48 hours
Image credit: UNI
New Delhi, Apr 15 (IBNS): The Election Commission on Monday banned Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan from campaigning for 72 hours. Union minister Maneka Gandhi has also been banned for 48 hours because of their controversial remarks.
Earlier, the poll panel had banned BSP supremo Mayawati and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning.
Azam Khan had triggered a controversy with his "underwear" jibe at Jaya Prada.
“I had brought her (Jaya Prada) to Rampur. You are witness that I did not allow anyone to touch her body. It took you 17 years to identify her real face but I got to know in 17 days that she wears khaki underwear,” Khan had said at a rally in Rampur.
The Election Commission found the comment “not only indecent but also derogatory and totally uncalled for” .
Khan had been banned from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh during the 2014 elections as well. But he is “still indulging in using very objectionable language in election campaigning,” the panel said.
Maneka Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, had told a gathering of Muslims that she would not look into issues faced by the community unless they voted for her.
In a clip of her speech, Maneka can be heard saying: "If my victory is without Muslims, I won't feel that good... Then when a Muslim comes to me for work, I think, 'Let it be, how does it matter'? It's all give and take, isn't it? We aren't all sons of Mahatma Gandhi, are we? (laughs). It's not that we keep on giving and then losing in the election. This victory will happen with or without you".
NCW notice to Khan
Earlier in the day, the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday sent a notice to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan over his remarks in Rampur (UP) against BJP candidate Jaya Prada.
The NCW in the notice said the alleged remarks made by him were 'offensive, unethical' and show disrespect towards dignity of women.
"The Commission strongly condemns such irresponsible and disparaging comment on the matter. You are required to provide a satisfactory explanation to the Commission on the matter," NCW under secretary Barnali Shome said.
NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma termed Khan's remarks against the actor-turned-politician as 'extremely disgraceful'.
In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Sharma said, "As per the model code of conduct by Election Commission of India, parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided. As the speech and behaviour of Azam Khan amounts to violation of MCC issued by ECI, I shall be grateful if you could kindly look into the matter, investigate and take appropriate strong action against Mr Khan."
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal also reacted on the comment and said in a tweet: "Shame on Azam Khan. What a crass, distasteful and pathetic statement! Wonder if he would say the same for his own daughter or sister? A big time low in our politics. FIR should be filed against him and he should be put behind bars!"
Image credit: UNI