Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey came out in support of Yogi Adityanath, who has censured by the EC for his communal remarks, saying the chief minister only took the name of God.
The statement came hours after the Election Commission "strongly condemned" Adityanath and BSP supremo Mayawati for their communal remarks and barred them from campaigning for 72 and 48 hours respectively.
In a statement issued here, Pandey said, "The BJP is a disciplined political party and we respect the decision of the Election Commission. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath did not in any way provoke religious sentiments, nor did he make any statement which could spread communal unrest. He only took the name of God."
"On the other hand, BSP supremo Mayawati and SP leader Azam Khan are seeking votes in the name of religion and also trying to spread communal unrest.
"Azam Khan resorted to use of vulgar and undignified language, and hence action should be initiated against Azam Khan and not Adityanath." he said.
The Uttar Pradesh BJP chief also urged the poll panel to re-consider its decision to impose 72-hour ban on Adityanath.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister was served the notice for his "Ali" and "Bajrang Bali" remarks while addressing a rally in Meerut. He compared the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between 'Ali', a revered figure in Islam, and Bajrang Bali, the Hindu god Hanuman.
On the other hand, Mayawati was issued the notice for her speech in Deoband appealing to Muslims to not vote for a particular party. The BSP chief had prima facie violated the model code of conduct, the poll panel found.
The orders barring Adityanath and Mayawati from campaigning for 72 hours and 48 hours respectively, will come into effect from 6 am on Tuesday. PTI NAV