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Seems EC has got its powers now, says Supreme Court, dismisses Mayawati’s plea against gag order

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Supreme Court today (Tuesday, April 16) expressed satisfaction with Election Commission (EC) taking action against leading political candidates for their communal speeches, soon after being pulled up by the court for describing itself as “toothless” and “powerless” in the face of hate.

“Seems you have got your powers now,” Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi remarked to the EC.

After being pulled up by the Supreme Court, the EC had acted against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi, prohibiting them from election campaign for 48 to 72 hours.

“We found we have several powers…” senior advocate CA Sundaram, who appeared for the ECI in the case, acquiesced.

“So, EC has woken up to its powers,” CJI Gogoi said pointedly, again.

On Monday, the EC had claimed it was mostly helpless if candidates spewed communal vitriol in their campaign speeches for Lok Sabha polls of 2019.

This had riled a Bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, who initially threatened to summon Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to take the court’s questions. The court had then decided to delve deep into the EC’s claims that its powers were “circumscribed”. It had given the Commission exactly 24 hours to be ready with a response.

Shortly after the order was passed on Monday, the EC passed orders against the four politicians, gagging them.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1555408156293{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #bcbcbc !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]The Supreme Court also dismissed BSP chief Mayawati’s objections to the EC’s order that barred her from campaigning for 48 hours. The court asked her to file a separate plea against the poll body’s gag order

Mayawati alleged that the Election Commission passed ex-parte orders. Mayawati’s lawyer and senior advocate Dushyant Dave said the EC’s gag is “extremely drastic”. He sought an urgent hearing at 2 pm on Tuesday.

“This is harsh. Meetings are already scheduled,” Dave urged the court for a hearing.

“File an appeal if you want. Not commenting on anything now,” Chief Justice dismissed the plea.

The EC ban came to effect from 6 am on Tuesday. The ban means Mayawati will not be able to address a rally in Agra on Tuesday – the last day before campaigning for the second phase of elections comes to an end. Eight of the 80 Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh will vote on April 18.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“Pursuant to order passed yesterday (April 15), EC has taken action, appropriate details of which have been submitted. No further order called for today. Mention (the case) as and when required,” the Supreme Court recorded in its order on Tuesday.

On Monday, the Chief Justice lashed out at the EC, saying, “You are basically saying you (EC) are toothless and powerless against hate speeches. The highest you can do is send a notice to the offending candidate. If the candidate replies, send him or her an advisory. Despite this, if there is violation of Model Code of Conduct, you may then file a criminal complaint… That is all? That is your powers under the law?”

The Court said the EC was “duty-bound” to act promptly against hate speech given in violation of the Model Code of Conduct under place in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by an NRI, Harpreet Mansukhani, highlighting the increase in hate and divisive speeches in the name of religion and caste in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.

The petition had urged the court to direct the constitution of a committee headed by a former apex court judge to closely watch the election process and check the fairness of the EC.

The petition said the communalism of Indian politics, and caste-based parties, were a “great threat to the spirit of the Constitution”.

Mansukhani, represented by senior advocate Sanjay Hegde and advocate Arup Banerjee, said, “India is beginning to look like Turkey under Erdogan or Russia under Putin, which are turning towards a populist majoritarian leader and right-wing politics for their salvation.”

“The essential component of a constitutional democracy is its ability to give and secure for its citizenry a representative form of government, elected freely and fairly, and comprising of a polity whose members are men and women of high integrity and morality,” the petition said.

Referring to communal and caste-based election speeches and remarks of political leaders, Mansukhani had said the plea was filed to “maintain secular environment in the forthcoming Lok Sabha Election, 2019.”

Also Read: Case filed against Azam Khan over sexist ‘Khaki underwear remark’, EC takes action

“The ‘undesirable development’ of appeals to religion, race, caste, community or language of politicians would hamper the objective of fundamental rights provided under the Constitution of India, this would affect the public at large,” the plea had said.

The plea had also sought a direction to the poll panel to take strict actions against media houses which hold debates on caste or religious lines.

“Our Constitution ensures a Socialist, Secular State and equality, fraternity among its citizens. Our country has a democratic set-up which is by the people, for the people and of the people.

Also Read: Supreme Court asks EC to watch full Modi biopic, give opinion by Fri in sealed cover

“A new trend of giving tickets to those who spread communal hatred and do caste or religion based politics has grown very rapidly on media and social media platform more than that the situation appears to be more alarming when we find such persons being elected for the State Assembly or Parliament…,” the plea had said.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest Politics News

Meghalaya Assembly Election 2023: BJP announces list of 60 candidates, check the full list here

Nagaland and Meghalaya will turn to polls on Feb 27 and results will be announced on March 2

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Meghalaya Assembly Election 2023: BJP announces list of 60 candidates, check the full list here

The Bharatiya Janata Party has announced a list of 60 candidates for the ensuing Meghalaya Assembly Elections on Thursday.

Prior to announcing the list, the party’s election committee held a meeting at party’s national headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday to finalise the same. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP National President JP Nadda and state BJP leaders AL Hek and Ernest Mawrie were among other party top guns who attended the meeting.

Check out the full list here:

Former Cabinet Minister and NPP leader Martin M Danggi was given the seat from Ranikor.

It is worth mentioning that earlier in the day, Danggo had officially joined the BJP in the Meghalaya’s state capital

The former Speaker claimed that he joined the BJP on the advice of his leaders and followers.

Danggo said that he didn’t make the choice but all of his leaders gathered and resolved that he should resign from the NPP and join the BJP. In his address to the party workers, he asked them to help in comprehending the BJP’s manifesto and constitution.

Notably, in Meghalaya, the BJP is fighting all seats along and in Nagaland it will fight the elections with cooperation of alliance party National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), where it will contest on 20 seats out of 60 seats.

On February 27, the voting for Assembly elections in Nagaland and Meghalaya will be held in a single phase manner. The results of the same will be announced on March 2.

The Election Commission of India said that the terms of Nagaland and Meghalaya were coming to an end on March 12 and 15 respectively.

The BJP held a CEC meeting in the national capital to decide the names of the candidates for the ensuing Tripura Assembly elections, earlier on January 27.

Following the meeting, the BJP announced its first list of 48 candidates for the Tripura Assembly elections, while it fielded Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik from Dhanpur.

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JD(U) leader Upendra Kushwaha lashes out at Nitish Kumar, says CM unable to exercise his own volition

On Monday, Kushwaha alleged that his convoy was attacked at Jagdishpur in the Bhojpur district of Bihar.

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Upendra Kushwaha

Janata Dal (United) parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha on Tuesday lashed out at Bihar’s chief minister Nitish Kumar and said the CM is unable to exercise his own volition.

Speaking at a press conference, he also cited it to be the reason for JD(U)’s vulnerability.

Kushwaha further said he has been asked to clarify what he meant by claiming his own share in the party that Nitish Kumar demanded at the unforgettable rally of 1994 when Lalu Prasad Yadav didn’t want to give their leaders due.

He further dismissed Nitish Kumar’s claims that he was appointed as the Chairman of the JDU Parliamentary Board out of respect. Even after being the Chairman of the Parliamentary Board, he cannot nominate a member and no attention was paid to his suggestions, claimed Kushwaha.

On Monday, Kushwaha alleged that his convoy was attacked at Jagdishpur in the Bhojpur district of Bihar. Reports said the JD(U) leader was travelling to Buxar from Bhojpur to attend a private event.

Read Also: Haryana man killed in road mishap, police say; family claims beaten to death by cow vigilantes

In a tweet, Kushawa alleged that a few people started pelting stones at his convoy while it was passing Nayka Tola crossing and he managed to escape. He also informed that the people who attacked his convoy covered their faces.

However, Bhojpur superintendent of police Pramod Kumar dismissed the claim and said there was a fight between supporters of Kushwaha and his opposition.

In 2017, Upendra Kushwaha merged his Rashtriya Lok Samata and returned to the JD(U). He alleged that parliamentary board chiefs are unable to exercise their powers. He split with Nitish Kumar’s party twice. After the split in 2013, his party went down and suffered defeats in multiple elections including the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 and the assembly elections of 2020.

Kushwaha started his political career in 1985 and served as National General-Secretary, of Yuva Janata Dal, from 1988–93.

Former Karnataka CM Yediyurappa announces retirement from electoral politics, says will work to ensure PM Modi is re-elected in 2024

Kerala man gets 3 life sentences for raping, impregnating 15-year-old daughter

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Former Karnataka CM Yediyurappa announces retirement from electoral politics, says will work to ensure PM Modi is re-elected in 2024

Veteran BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa announced his retirement for electoral politics on Monday, however, he maintained that he will continue to be active in politics to ensure that BJP is back in power in the state and PM Narendra Modi gets a third term in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

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former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa

Veteran BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa announced his retirement for electoral politics on Monday, however, he maintained that he will continue to be active in politics to ensure that BJP is back in power in the state and PM Narendra Modi gets a third term in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Speaking to reporters in Belagavi, Yediyurappa,80, revealed that he won’t be contesting in upcoming Assembly elections due to his age but stressed that his only aim now is to ensure Prime Minister Narendra Modi is re-elected in next year’s elections and the BJP returns to power in Karnataka.

Yediyurappa, who is also a member of the BJP’s Central Parliamentary Committee, is in a tussle with local BJP leadership over getting his son B.Y. Vijayendra a befitting position in the party. The former CM announced that his son would contest polls from Yediyurappa’s Shikaripura Assembly constituency, however, he said that he would respect the party’s final decision on the matter.

Read Also: Union Budget 2023: PM Modi says budget aims to meet hopes, aspirations of common citizens

Reports quoting BJP insiders claim that the BJP strongman is slighted within the party and prevented from undertaking independent yatras and tours.

Yediyurappa said that he has already as MLA and CM and announced that he will help build the party by touring and do everything in his power to bring back BJP in power.

The BJP leader resigned as Chief Minister in July 2021 and was replaced by current Karnataka CM Basvaraj Bommai. Yediyurappa began his electoral politics as “Purasabha’ president in Shikaripura and in 1983 was elected to represent the constituency. Since then, he has won eight times from Shikaripura.

Union Budget 2023: Top quotes from President Droupadi Murmu’s address

Peshawar suicide bombing: Death toll rises to 83, over 150 wounded

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