The Election Commission on Monday sought an explanation from Bharatiya Janata Party's Uttar Pradesh in-charge Amit Shah for his provocative speech in western Uttar Pradesh last week.
On Thursday, Shah had allegedly exhorted Jats in Muzaffarnagar to use the elections as an opportunity to seek "revenge" for the riots that erupted in September last year. The communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas had left 61 dead and forced more than 50,000 flee their homes.
The commission after examining the tapes of the speech allegedly made by Shah during election campaign in Bijnore and Muzzafarnagar found that prima facie the BJP leader had violated the model code of conduct.
The poll panel has directed him to give his reply by April 9.
Bijnore police has already registered two cases against Shah, who is a close of party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, for the hate speech.
In an unrelated development, the Congress on Monday lodged a complaint with the poll panel against the BJP claiming that reference to Ayodhya in its manifesto was a violation of the model code as it amounted to seeking votes on religious lines.
Congress treasurer Motilal Vohra also said that the declaration of manifesto on April 7, the polling day in Assam and Tripura, violated the provisions of the Representation of the People's Act as well as the commission's instructions.
The Congress has sought action against the party for the alleged violation of the model code and the law.