India temporarily bans BJP state chief minister from campaign after anti-Muslim comment

Source: Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s election commission on Monday banned a Hindu state chief minister from campaigning for three days after anti-Muslim comments in an election that will end next month.

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Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, addresses the audience after inaugurating power projects in Allahabad, India, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash

The saffron-clad Yogi Adityanath, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, had been warned this month about his campaign speeches, the election commission said.

The commission said Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had spoken about a “green virus” in a speech last week in reference to Muslim voters who he said were being wooed by opposition parties.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been playing to its nationalist base and painting its rivals as soft on terrorism and eager to appease Muslims, who make up about 14 percent of India’s 1.3 billion population.

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