Four days after the Election Commission issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi for violation of model code of conduct, the Congress vice-president has sought one week’s time to reply to the poll panel.
On October 31, the EC issued a notice to Gandhi after the BJP complained that his recent speeches in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were communal in nature. He was asked to submit a written reply by November 4.
Gandhi in his campaign speeches had accused the BJP of inciting communal violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere for electoral gains.
“I say the BJP people starts fight between people…fight between Hindus and Muslims,” he had said in Churu Rajasthan, adding that BJP starts communal fire and the Congress has to extinguish it. Gandhi had also claimed an intelligence officer telling him that Pakistani intelligence agency ISI was contacting riot-hit Muslim youth in Muzaffarnagar.
Issuing first notice to Gandhi, the commission said “prima facie” the model code for parties and its leaders has been violated.
The commission examined the complaint lodged by BJP leaders, including national spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and found Gandhi’s speech violated the code prescribing prohibition on activities that may aggravate existing differences or create hatred or tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.