The Election Commission has pulled up Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi for violating the model code of conduct by their speeches during the election campaign in Gujarat and advised them to be careful in future.
Responding to the replies submitted by Sonia and Modi to its show-cause notices, the EC in identical judgments expressed its “unhappiness” on Sonia’s “merchant of death” remarks and Modi justifying the killing of Sohrabuddin in an encounter. In her reply, Sonia had reportedly clarified that she had not named anyone in her speech. Modi also denied having defended the “fake encounter” in which Sohrabuddin was killed.
“The commission has carefully considered all aspects of the two cases and has come to the conclusion that the two leaders have violated the model code of conduct. The Commission cannot help expressing its deep anguish over the fact that they have not even adhered to the sagacious advice of the Supreme Court given in the case of Gadakh Yashwantrao Kankarrao case,” the EC said.
In Sonia’s case, the EC said some of her remarks amounted to an “ attack on personal character or conduct of the political/administrative functionaries of the Gujarat government.” Whereas in Modi’s case, the panel observed his speeches had the effect of “aggravating the existing differences to create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities”.