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EC says Rahul Gandhi made communal remarks, pulls up Modi for "Khooni Panja" and "Zaalim Haath" remarks.

New Delhi, Nov.13 ( ANI ): The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday said Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) through his "communal" remarks at rallies in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh last month, and advised him to be more circumspect in his public utterances.

Taking exception to the "tone, tenor and content" of Gandhi's speeches, wherein he had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of instigating one community against the other and suggested that Pakistan's ISI was in touch with youth affected by Muzaffarnagar riots, the Election Commission said: "Having regard to totality of facts and circumstances of the case and submissions and contentions made by you in your reply ... the commission hereby conveys its displeasure and advises you to be more circumspect in your public utterances."

It said that it was satisfied with Gandhi's explanation that his remarks were only a criticism of BJP's policies and progammes and that the emphasis of his speeches was on maintenance of communal harmony rather than creating hatred or communal tension.

The MCC prohibits speeches that aggravate differences between religious communities and restrains politicians from criticizing rival parties based on unverified allegations.

The EC upbraiding of Rahul came in response to complaints lodged by the BJP units in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The Election Commission also issued a notice to the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over his " khooni panja" and "zlim hth" remarks, saying they prima facie violated the MCC.

Citing sub para (2) of Para 1 of the MCC, which provides that "criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and works, the EC said unverified allegations and distortions should be avoided.

Modi was asked to reply to the EC notice by 5 p.m. on November 16, explaining why action should not be taken against him for violation of the MCC.

Modi had, during a campaign speech in Rajnandgaon on November 7, asked the people if they wanted to vote for a "Khooni Hth" (killer hand). Alleging that the three years of Congress rule in the state were marked by misery, the BJP star campaigner claimed that "it was chief minister Raman Singh who saved Chhattisgarh from this cruel hand."

The Congress had moved the election commission on November 9, seeking action against Modi. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Nov 13, 2013
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