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EC allows Amit Shah to campaign, ban on Azam Khan persists

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The Election Commission on Thursday withdrew its order on BJP general secretary Amit Shah prohibiting him from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh

amit-shahNew Delhi: The Election Commission on Thursday withdrew its order on BJP general secretary Amit Shah prohibiting him from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh, but ban on Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan is likely to stay according to the sources.

Accepting Shah’s ‘solemn pledge’ that he shall in no manner give cause to be accused as having indulged in any act of commission or omission which has the effect of prejudicially affecting the public tranquility and law and order, the EC decided to modify its order dated April 11, 2014, and declared that he may be granted permission to hold public meetings, processions, rallies, road shows etc.

However EC made it clear to Shah that he is given a second chance and the commission shall closely monitor his campaign activities by constant video tracking by the district election authorities concerned.

Meanwhile, EC is unlikely to reconsider the ban on Khan. The reasons, according to sources, being that Khan, even after receiving EC’s notice, continued to make inflammatory and provocative speeches. In his reply filed a day after he was banned from public meetings, the SP leader refused to acknowledge any violation of the model code or regret his remarks. In fact, he slammed the EC in a recent media interview, accusing the poll body of being dictatorial and violating the principles of natural justice by ignoring his response to its notice.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, too, challenged the EC’s ban on Khan, saying that “before acting too strict, the commission should test the political waters itself”.

Shah had reacted to EC’s censure on Wednesday by saying even the “best bowler sometimes bowls no-balls”.

Earlier in the day, he had been strongly defended by BJP’s PM nominee. In an interview, Modi said so far as he could understand, Shah had done no wrong by asking voters to use the democratic process to articulate their feelings.

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