New Delhi: The Election Commission today cautioned RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav for his reported casteist remarks which it said violated model code and asked him to be 'more careful' in public utterances during election campaigns in future.
"...the Commission has considered your reply carefully and has observed that you have not denied having made the impugned statements...the explanations furnished by you in support of justifying those statements have not been found convincing by the Commission," the EC said in its order.
It reminded Lalu that the statements can aggravate the differences between different sections of society and also inciting them on grounds of caste and religion.
"...the Commission is, thus of the considered opinion that you have violated the provisions...of Model Code of Conduct...now, therefore, the Commission cautions you to abide by the provisions of MCC in letter and spirit and be more careful in public utterances during election campaigns in future," the poll watchdog said.
An FIR has already been lodged against Lalu recently in Bihar for allegedly making casteist remarks. Launching his campaign from Raghopur, the RJD supremo had described the assembly elections as a direct fight between "the backward castes and forward castes" and gave a call to Yadavs and other backward castes to rally behind the secular alliance to defeat BJP-led NDA.
Earlier, while issuing the notice, the EC reminded him that "promoting feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of citizens on the ground of religion, race, caste, community or language" is an electoral offence under section 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and also an offence under section 153A and section 505(2) of the IPC.