Rahul’s remarks draw Modi ire, BJP complaint to EC

Rahul Gandhi’s speeches in Rajasthan breach all the above guidelines, the BJP maintained.

Upset over Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi accusing it of playing “divisive politics”, the BJP Friday complained to the Election Commission (EC) saying he had violated the model code of conduct.

According to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s letter to the EC, Rahul Gandhi made the charges while addressing election rallies in Churu and Kherli (Alwar) in Rajasthan on Oct 23 where he accused the BJP of stoking communal riots in Muzaffarnagar.

Addressing a rally in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh Friday, the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi attacked Gandhi over his remark that Pakistan’s ISI was in touch with Muslim riot victims in Muzaffarnagar.

The Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal-United also criticised Gandhi’s remarks.

With the announcement of the election schedule, the model code of conduct came into force in the states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram Oct 4, 2013, the BJP pointed out.

“Some portions of the impassioned speeches seem to be clearly violative of the model code 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,” the BJP said.

“Criticism of other parties or workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided. There shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes,” said the BJP.

Rahul Gandhi’s speeches in Rajasthan breach all the above guidelines, the BJP maintained.

According to the BJP letter, Gandhi referred to the Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh, and is reported to have said: “I was seeing my face in their grief. That is why I am against the politics of BJP. They will set Muzaffarnagar on fire, Gujarat on fire, UP on fire and Kashmir on fire, and then you and we will have to douse that fire… BJP divides people.”

According to the BJP, “the happenings in Muzaffarnagar are still being investigated”, and Gandhi “is accusing the BJP without an iota of proof”.

In Jhansi, Modi attacked Rahul Gandhi for saying that ISI was in touch with Muslim youth of Muzaffarnagar and asked him to reveal the identity of such persons or apologise publicly for levelling “serious allegations” and “defaming” the entire community. He also questioned why intelligence agencies “report” to Gandhi, “who has never taken an oath of secrecy” and brief him on such sensitive matters.

The ruling parties in UP and Bihar, Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal-United respectively, also criticised Gandhi’s remarks.

“Rahul Gandhi should apologise to Muslims for his remarks that Pakistan’s ISI was in touch with some victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots to draw them to terrorist activities,” senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan said.

“Nobody has a right to question anybody’s nationalism… If some people are in touch with Pakistan for anti-India activities, they should be dealt with as per the law. But to drag the whole community into it is an insult for Muslims,” JD-U spokesperson K.C. Tyagi said.

However, Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad compared ISI and BJP in a tweet, saying both “rejoice” whenever communal riots erupt.

“Really true! Whenever & wherever communal trouble erupts in this country two sets of people rejoice. Pakistan’s ISI & India’s Bhajpaei,” Ahmad said.


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