New Delhi — India’s election commission on Monday banned a firebrand Hindu nationalist state chief minister from campaigning for three days to stop him stoking hatred between religious communities in a divisive election that will end in May. The saffron-clad Yogi Adityanath, from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governing party, had been warned in early April about his campaign speeches, the election commission said in its order. The commission said Adityanath, a holy man who is chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state, had spoken about a “green virus” in a speech last week, apparently referring 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% of India’s 1.3-billion population. BJP spokesperson Harish Srivastava said the party was inclusive towards all communities and its leaders were discussing ...

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