The Election Commission (EC) on Monday banned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati from election campaigning for 72 hours and 48 hours respectively, starting from 6 am tomorrow, for violating the Model Code of Conduct by making objectionable statements in their speeches.

The development comes after the Supreme Court today expressed displeasure with the EC “having limited power to act against leaders like Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath making statements along religious lines and violating the model code of conduct during elections”.

The court was hearing a PIL seeking strict action against political parties if their spokespersons and representatives deliver speeches and make remarks along religion and caste lines.

The Supreme Court on Monday took note of the alleged hate speeches by the leaders and sought to know from the Election Commission the action initiated against them so far.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi summoned a representative of the EC for Tuesday while agreeing to examine the poll panel’s contention that it has limited legal power to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering.

The bench referred to submissions of the EC that they can issue a notice, then advisory and finally lodge a complaint against an errant politician for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by giving hate speeches based on caste and religion during campaign.

The apex court agreed to examine statements made by political leaders violative of the model code of conduct after the poll body admitted it was “toothless” and “powerless” with regard to the hate speeches made during election campaigns.

During the hearing, the bench asked the counsel for EC as to what action they have taken against Mayawati and Yogi Adityanath for alleged hate speeches.

The counsel appearing for the poll panel said that it has already issued notices against the two politicians.