Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was handed over a 72-hour campaign ban by the Election Commission, has found a novel way to stay in the news. Adityanath is all set to visit Ayodhya’s Ramlalla and Hanuman Garhi temples and then head to the Devipatan temple in the neighbouring district, just a day after he posed for shutterbugs during his visit to a Lucknow temple.
The chief minister, who has been asked to avoid public speeches or rallies, made a much-publicised visit to the Hanuman Setu temple in Lucknow on the first day of the ban. He, however, did not speak to the media, as directed by the poll body.
The Election Commission had imposed a 72-hour ban on the UP chief minister in light of his statements comparing the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between 'Ali' and Bajrang Bali. He also referred to the Muslim League as a “green virus”, inviting the ire of the Opposition. The poll body also took cognizance of BSP supremo Mayawati's Deoband speech, where she appealed to Muslim voters to not split their votes.
The EC in its order said it was convinced that both the leaders “made highly provocative speech which has the tone and tenor to aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between different religious communities”.
The BJP on Tuesday urged the Election Commission to review its order, claiming he did not intend to incite communal tension and had only expressed his beliefs.