Controversial political leader Asaduddin Owaisi and a member of his party, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), have been booked for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in Uttar Pradesh, which is gearing up for the upcoming Assembly elections in seven phases. The MCC has been in force in the state ever since the Election Commission (EC) announced the polling dates on January 4.
The MCC has been in force in all five states going to elections. The BJP has said Rahul Gandhi violated the poll code as well as a Supreme Court order against seeking votes in the name of religion when the Congress vice-president said he saw the palm — the poll symbol of the Congress — in images of gods and prophets cutting across religions.
The case against Owaisi and his party colleague has been registered in Saharanpur in UP. Talat Khan — one of the 11 AIMIM candidates who will contest the UP Assembly elections — has also been named in the police complaint filed by a sub-inspector named Anil Kumar. Khan happens to be the AIMIM's poll candidate from Saharanpur.
According to a PTI report, Owaisi and Khan have been booked because "posters of the AIMIM have allegedly been pasted on the walls of the power corporation property, religious places and private shops," which is considered a violation of the MCC. As a result, the police have booked the two AIMIM men under Section 171H of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with making of illegal payments in connection with an election campaign.
Owaisi, it may be noted, started his party's campaign for the UP Assembly polls from Kairana — a part of the state that had reportedly seen mass exodus of Hindus following fears of persecution. The AIMIM is also fielding a candidate from Kairana.