Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Taking strict action against Bharatiya Janata Party`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi`s aide Amit Shah and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for making `highly inflammatory speeches`, the Election Commission on Friday banned both the leaders from holding public meetings, processions or road shows in Uttar Pradesh.
In a letter to the UP government, the EC has asked the authorities in UP to lodge FIRs against Shah and Azam and initiate criminal proceedings against them if it has not been done yet.
It has further asked the authorities to ensure that no act of commission or omission is resorted to by the two leaders that can affect public tranquility.
The tough stand was taken by the EC at a top-level meeting of Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath and Election Commissioners HS Brahma and SNA Zaidi where the poll body exercised its constitutional powers to prevent the two leaders from further vitiating the poll atmosphere.
"The Commission hereby directs under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in this behalf, that necessary FIRs should be immediately filed and criminal proceedings initiated against the above mentioned two leaders, wherever the same have not been instituted so far," the order said.
"Necessary FIRs should be immediately filed and criminal proceedings initiated against the above mentioned two leaders, wherever the same have not been instituted so far," the EC said.
EC added, "No permission should be granted for holding any public meetings` public processions, public rallies, road shows, etc., by the district administration authorities, where the above two leaders are expected or likely to participate."
BJP’s UP in-charge Amit Shah on Wednesday had approached the Allahabad High Court seeking a stay on his arrest and quashing of FIRs registered against him for allegedly giving ‘hate’ speeches at election meetings in Shamli on April 4.
A Division Bench of Justices Arun Tandon and Satish Chandra had asked the state government and the Election Commission to ensure that the CDs of the alleged hate speech are presented before it by Thursday.
Shah had been booked under Section 125 of the Representation of People Act and Section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code, both pertaining to promoting enmity between two communities.
Shah had reportedly said in a recent election meeting in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar that, "this election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats, it is an election for honour and to take revenge for the insult. It is an election to teach a lesson to those who have committed injustice."
On the other hand the EC has also criticized Akhilesh government for showing a "soft approach" towards checking the "undesirable activities" of UP minister Azam Khan.
The EC on Wednesday had sought details of Azam Khan`s speech in which he had said that it was the Muslim soldiers who had won the Kargil war even as he defended his remarks while the Congress and BJP termed them communal. He was addressing an election rally in Ghaziabad for party candidate Nahid Hasan on Tuesday.
My statement on Kargil should be welcomed," Azam Khan told reporters, as per IANS.
"What is the harm in talking about the contributions of Muslims for the country... why can`t we talk about it? Why are the sacrifices of Muslim soldiers being ignored? What is so wrong about it?" he said.