Cracking the whip, the Indian Election Commission yesterday banned a close aide of BJP prime ministerial frontrunner Narendra Modi and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan from holding public meetings, taking out processions or holding roadshows in the key electoral state of Uttar Pradesh.
Both the leaders were recently served by EC with show cause notices for allegedly giving hate speeches against communities during the campaign for general elections.
The Commission also asked state authorities to initiate criminal proceedings against Modi aide Amit Shah and SP leader Khan.
The tough stand was taken by the EC at a top-level meeting of Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and Election Commissioners H S Brahma and S N A Zaidi where the poll body exercised its constitutional powers to prevent the two leaders from further vitiating the poll atmosphere.
The EC said it has been observing with serious concern that Khan and Shah have been making highly inflammatory speeches during the current election campaign for Lok Sabha polls.