Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was today served a notice by the Election Commission for alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct during an election rally in Delhi last week. Yogi Adityanath was issued the notice for his remarks about Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being "busy sponsoring and offering biryani in Shaheen Bagh".
In its letter the poll body told the UP Chief Minister that "prima facie you have violated provision of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC)... therefore the Commission gives you an opportunity to explain your position... on or before 5 pm on February 7, 2020".
The poll body also cautioned Yogi Adityanath that failure to make a statement would result in a decision being made "without any further reference to you".
However, given campaigning ended this evening, it is unclear what punishment the Chief Minister will receive should he be found to be in violation of the MCC.
In his speech, delivered at Delhi's Badarpur constituency, Yogi Adityanath accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Congress - the BJP's rivals in this election - of supporting "divisive forces".
"The BJP is working with zero tolerance towards terrorism. But Kejriwal is busy sponsoring and offering biryani in Shaheen Bagh," he said, alleging that the protests were a "pretext" and the real focus was the government's contentious decision on Article 370 and Ayodhya.
The Shaheen Bagh site, where over 200 women have braved the Delhi winter to agitate against the controversial citizenship law, has emerged as the epicentre of anti-CAA protests, and also the main target of the BJP as the party tries to make it the focus of Delhi polls.
Earlier today Union Minister Giriraj Singh claimed Shaheen Bagh had become a breeding ground for suicide bombers conspiring against the country from the capital.
That outrageous comment was the latest in a long line of shockers by BJP MPs and leaders, including Union Minister of State Anurag Thakur, who was caught on camera at an election rally, chanting the first half of a slogan that concludes with a call to gun down traitors - the term by which anti-citizenship law protesters have frequently been called.
Following Mr Thakur's election rally there were three separate instances of lone gunmen opening fire at peaceful protesters in Delhi.
Apart from focusing its poll campaign on the Shaheen Bagh protesters, the BJP has also targeted Mr Kejriwal repeatedly, calling him a "terrorist".
BJP MP Parvesh Verma was the first to use the term, implying during an election speech that if Mr Kejriwal returned to power, "Shaheen Bagh-type" of people would dominate. In a shocking statement the parliamentarian also said: "They (the protesters) will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters, kill them".
Mr Verma also received a notice from the Election Commission and a temporary campaign ban that did not stop either him or others from making such incendiary statements.
BJP leader Sambit Patra has also come under the scanner of the poll body for his comments.
Delhi votes for a new 70-member Assembly on Saturday, with results due three days later.
The citizenship law that protesters at Shaheen Bagh and elsewhere are agitating against makes religion the test of citizenship for the first time. The government says the law will help non-Muslim refugees fleeing religious persecution from Muslim-dominated neighbours. Critics, however, say it discriminates against Muslims and violate secular tenets of the Constitution.