SP leader Azam Khan
The Election Commission on Tuesday imposed fresh 48-hour ban on Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan for "threatening" poll authorities, "making communal remarks". This is the second time this month that the EC has imposed a ban on him. The fresh ban will come into force at 6 am on Wednesday. Earlier he was barred from campaigning for 72 hours for his 'khaki underwear' jibe at BJP candidate Jaya Prada.
On April 15, Khan was slapped with a poll campaign ban, an FIR and a women commission notice for his alleged "khaki underwear" jibe, while the saffron party mounted a sharp political attack comparing his "disgusting" comments to disrobing of Draupadi in Mahabharata.
The actor-turned-politician, who was earlier with the SP and has now been pitted by the BJP against Khan from Rampur Lok Sabha seat, demanded his immediate disqualification from contesting polls and said she had considered him a brother but he has now crossed the 'lakshman rekha'.
After examining the remarks made at an election rally by Khan, who has often stoked controversies with his speeches, the Election Commission imposed a nationwide ban on him from campaigning for 72 hours.
During the last Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the EC had imposed a ban on Khan from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh for his provocative speeches and had also lodged an FIR against him.
Khan, however, remained defiant and said he did not name any person in his speech and if anyone proves that he had taken any name or maligned anyone then he would not contest the polls.
Without naming the actor, Khan had told the election rally in Rampur "... You got represented (by her) for 10 years. People of Rampur, people of Uttar Pradesh and people of India, it took you 17 years to understand her reality. But, I could recognize it in 17 days that she wears a khaki underwear."
Jaya Prada had represented Rampur twice in Lok Sabha after winning in 2004 and 2009 as a Samajwadi Party leader. Later she was expelled from the party, along with Amar Singh, following differences with Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Last month she joined BJP and has been nominated as the saffron party's candidate against Khan from Rampur, which goes to polls on April 23.
(With PTI inputs)