Days after BJP complained to the EC against Rahul Gandhi's controversial "ISI" remarks, Congress has approached the poll watchdog seeking stern action against Narendra Modi for his "khooni panja" barb against the party.
In its communication to chief election commissioner VS Sampath, Congress accused BJP's prime ministerial candidate of making "intemperate, malicious and defamatory" remarks by referring to the hand symbol, allotted by the commission to Congress, as "Khooni Panja" and "Jalim Haath".
"The use of the expression 'khooni panja' is extremely significant and deplorable and has an effect of terrorising the public at large against Congress," the party has said in its petition.
The Congress move to approach the EC on Saturday night came days after the poll body notice to the party vice-president over his remark that Pakistani intelligence agency was in touch with some victims of Muzaffarnagar violence.
After BJP's petition to EC in this regard, Gandhi was served a notice to which he had replied on Friday stating that he had not violated the moral code of conduct.
Congress also sent to the EC a DVD of Modi's speech at Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh on Thursday in which he had made the remarks as well as clippings of a newspaper report.
The party also sent the EC, the text of Modi's speech in which the BJP leader had said, "Yadi aap chahte hain ki Chattisgarh ke upar kisi khooni panje ka saya na pade to aap sabhi kamal mein button dabana aur Chhattisgarh ko khooni panje se bachana. (If you want that the shadow of bloodied hand does not fall on Chattisgarh, press the button on Lotus)" The party has alleged that Modi had gone on to say - "Jalim hatho mein Chattisgarh ko dena chahate ho?.... Galti se bhee jalim panja ke hatho me Chattisgarh nahi jane dena." (Do you want to give away Chattisgarh to brutal hands....Don't let Chhatisgarh slip into the grip of brutal hands even by mistake)."
The party said the tone, tenor and language used by Modi apparently shows that he has "intentionally and deliberately used abusive words and remarks".
"The code permits criticism of other political parties confining to their policies and programme, their past record of work, but the statement made by him is not a criticism as contemplated under this clause but he is using intemperate language which is also malicious and defamatory.
"He even goes on to criticise the Congress party based on unverified allegations, rather deliberately he has distorted the facts to mislead and misrepresent to the public at large. Since this programme was also televised by the electronic media, these statements made by him were also shown in different parts of the country," secretary of AICC legal department KC Mittal said in the communication.
The party claimed the manner in which Modi first referred to Congress' election symbol and said it would lead to the ruin of Chhattisgarh and later referred to "khooni panja" was calculated to depict Congress party and its symbol "in the worst possible light and cause the people to develop a fear against the party".
The party also said since Modi has been representing BJP, the opposition party is also "equally guilty" for violation of the Model Code of Conduct.