Rahul Gandhi’s ‘hand’ remark: BJP seeks withdrawal of Congress’ poll symbol

Lucknow: The BJP on Friday lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and his party for allegedly violating the Model of Conduct (MCC) by “co-relating the Congress election symbol with religious figures”.

The Bharatiya Janata Party sought the withdrawal of the Congress’ election symbol ‘hand’ as well as cancellation of its recognition as a national party.

“Shri Rahul Gandhi, at a convention, named as ‘Jan Vedna Sammelan’ in Delhi on January 11, 2017, made religious comments by co-relating the symbol of Indian National Congress with religious gods such as Shivji, Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir and Islam, violating the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, MCC and the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court,” the BJP wrote in its complaint.

It also attached a CD of Rahul Gandhi’s speech along with the letter.

“The Congress party has not disassociated itself from the statements of Shri Rahul Gandhi. Therefore, it has also further violated the Model Code of Conduct,” the complaint said.

“Therefore, it is liable to be proceeded against under Para 16A and 18 of the Election Symbols Order, 1968, and the allotment of hand symbol of Congress party may kindly be withdrawn with immediate effect, along with cancellation of its recognition as a national party,” the BJP letter read.

It said that since the Indian National Congress and its leaders are “flouting the code”, “appropriate action should be taken against the Indian National Congress as well as Rahul Gandhi”.

Speaking at a Congress convention in New Delhi, Gandhi said his party’s symbol is present in every religion and it signifies that people of any religion should not fear the government as the Congress is with them.

“I found Congress symbol in Shivji, Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir’s pictures. I asked Karan Singhji what does it mean? He said (it means) ‘don’t get afraid’,” Gandhi had said.