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EC serves notice on Rahul Gandhi for his ISI-Muzaffarnagar riot victim remarks

The Election Commission on Thursday issued a notice to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for his speeches in which he said Pakistan's ISI was in touch with Muzaffarnagar riot victims and charged BJP with indulging in politics of hatred.

The Commission, after examining Gandhi's speeches made in Churu, Rajasthan, on October 23 and in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, on October 24 and after taking into account the electoral officer's report, has asked him to explain by Monday why action should not be initiated against him for prima facie violating the model code of conduct.

Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi in trouble over ISI-Muzaffarnagar riot victim remarks. File Pic

"The Commission is prima facie of the view that your aforesaid speeches are violative of above-referred sub paras (1), (2) and (3) of Para 1 of the model code of conduct for political parties and candidates. Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are among five states which go to assembly polls in November-December this year.

"The Election Commission of lndia calls upon you to explain by 11.30 hours on November 4, 2013 as to why action should not be taken against you for the above-mentioned violations of the model code of conduct," said the EC notice served on him.

The Commission has said that in case no reply is received within the prescribed time limit, it will be presumed that he has nothing to say and the Commission will proceed to take appropriate action without any further reference.

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". The model code also states "criticism of other political parties...based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided" and "there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes".

BJP had complained to the Commission seeking action against Gandhi for allegedly violating the code of conduct by appealing for votes on communal lines and inciting hatred among different communities. 

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