Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi may be reprimanded by the Election Commission (EC) for his remarks linking Pakistan’s ISI with Muzaffarnagar riot victims and accusing the BJP of indulging in politics of hatred.
In his reply to a show cause notice issued by the EC, Gandhi defended his remarks and claimed that he has not violated the model code of conduct in his speeches made during election campaigns in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. He argued that his speeches were within the parameters of the party’s ideology and that these did not target any community.
An eight-page reply on behalf of Gandhi was submitted to the commission on Friday morning. The commission is of the view that Gandhi’s action does not warrant de-recognition of the Congress, as demanded by the BJP in its complaint. However, the commission believes that the Congress leader has violated the model code of conduct and needs to be careful in the future.
But, the commission’s final view would be known only after Gandhi’s reply was legally examined. Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath told reporters that the reply was being considered and a decision will be taken as soon as possible.
The EC in its notice on October 31 had held Gandhi prima facie guilty of violating the model code which prescribes that a party or a candidate should not indulge in any activity that may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.