The Election Commission Thursday served notice on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi stating that his election speeches in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh last week were prima facie “violative” of model code of conduct and asked him to reply by Nov 4. The notice was issued on the BJP’s complaints to the commission.
In a release, Election Commission said it had it had viewed CDs of Gandhi’s speeches at Churu in Rajasthan Oct 23 and Indore in Madhya Pradesh Oct 24 and had detailed delibrations on the issue.
“The commission is prima facie of the view that your aforesaidspeeches are violative of above-referred Sub paras (1), (2) and (3) of Para 1 of the Model Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates. Therefore, the Election Commission of lndia calls upon you to explain by 1130 hours on Nov 4, 2013 as to why action should not be taken against you for the above mentioned violations of the Model Code of Conduct,” the commission said it its notice to the Congress leader.
The notice was been sent to Gandhi through a special messenger. Gandhi is the lead campaigner of the Congress in the assembly polls to five states in November-December. He is also seen as the party’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The notice said if no reply was received within the prescribed limit, the commission will presume that “you have nothing to say and the commission will proceed to take appropriate action with any further reference to you”.
The commission said it had received representations from Bharatiya Janata Party vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Madhya Pradesh unit chief Narendra Singh Tomar, among other party leaders.
In his speech at Churu, Gandhi had accused the BJP of causing communal flare-ups.
“They (BJP) will go to Muzaffarnagar and set fire. They will go to Gujarat and set fire. They will go to (Jammu and) Kashmir and will do the same. We have to run from pillar to post to douse the fire,” he had said.
In his Indore rally, Gandhi had accused the BJP of dividing the people for political gains. “The (BJP) thought it will not gain in UP (Uttar Pradesh) till it divided people,” Gandhi had said, referring to September’s Muzaffarnagar riots in which over 40 people were killed and thousands displaced.
Gandhi had also spoken of an intelligence officer visiting him and telling him that Pakistan intelligence agencies was contacting 10-15 youth who had lost their siblings in the Muzzaffarnagar riots.
The BJP had taken strong exception to Gadhi’s remarks.