EC notices: After Rahul, it is time for Modi’s conduct check

This time the EC has issued a notice to Modi over his khooni panja remark made at his Dongargarh rally in Chhatisgarh.

After Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s famous ISI remark, the other political term which became a trend on the social media was Gujarat chief minister and Bhartia Janta Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s “Khooni Panja” (bloodied paw).

While Rahul was pulled up by the Election Commission for his remarks a few days ago after the BJp filed a complaint regarding it, he was cautioned by the EC advising him to be more circumspect while addressing public gatherings.

The EC had issued a notice to the Congress scion on October 31 for linking ISI to Muzaffarnagar riot victims In reply to which Rahul had maintained that he did not violate the model code of conduct and his remarks were not intended to start hatred among the people.

This time the EC has issued a notice to Modi over his khooni panja remark made at his Dongargarh rally in Chhatisgarh. Modi had also used the term “jalim haath” (cruel hand) to describe the Congress symbol.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, maintained there was no violation of the election code of conduct. “The Election Commission notice has reached us. We will go through the details and respond,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said. She added she wished to clarify that there was “no violation of the code of conduct in his (Modi’s) statement”.

The Congress complained to the Election Commission that Modi’s comment was “intemperate, malicious and defamatory”.

“The use of the expression ;khooni panja; is extremely significant and deplorable and has an effect of terrorising the public at large against the Congress,” the party had said in its petition.

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”.

Political rhetorics have been too popular in the Indian politics. It should be noted that the it was the president of the same Congress party, which has complained to the EC, had called Modi “maut ka saudagar” in an election rally in 2007. The term was more derogatory than khooni panja though but Congress did not pay attention to it because it was against their perpetual enemy Modi.

(with inputs from IANS)

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