HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Rahul Gandhi tells EC he didn't violate poll code

Agencies  New Delhi, November 08, 2013
First Published: 12:02 IST(8/11/2013) | Last Updated: 01:37 IST(23/11/2013)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday denied violating the model code of conduct while replying to Election Commission's notice to allegations that his speeches in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were communal in nature.

Gandhi's reply came in a sealed enveloped to CEC a little ahead of the 11.30 am deadline set by the poll body. The Election Commission is discussing Gandhi's reply in its meeting chaired by the CEC.

 "I was referring to divisive politics," Gandhi said, according to a TV report.
The commission had on October 31 issue a notice to Gandhi for violation of model code of conduct after the BJP complained about his speeches Churu in which he accused the BJP of starting "communal fire" and alleging that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI was contacting riot-hit Muslim youth in Muzaffarnagar.

Gandhi, who was earlier asked to reply to EC by November 4, had sought one more week's time to reply to the notice served on him.

The Commission, after examining Gandhi's speeches made in Churu and Indore, had asked him to explain why action should not be initiated against him for prima facie violating the Model Code of Conduct.

"The Commission is prima facie of the view that your aforesaid speeches 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," the EC notice served on him had said.

Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are among five states which go to Assembly polls in November-December this year.

The model code prescribes that "no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic".

It also states that "criticism of other political parties...based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided" and that "there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes".

(With PTI inputs)

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