Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today sought a week's more time to reply to the model code violation notice by the Election Commission for his remark that Pakistani's ISI was in touch with Muzaffarnagar riot victims, citing his prior travel commitments and holidays due to the festive season.
Gandhi, who was asked to reply to the EC notice by 11.30 AM ton Monday, said in his communication to Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath that he wanted more time to respond since there were holidays due to the festive season. He said he had received the EC notice only at 9.30 PM on October 31 and hardly had time to consult his lawyers on the issue.
The Congress leader also cited prior travel commitments for not responding the notice within the stipulted time.
The Election Commission has granted the Congress vice president four more days to reply to its notice on his speeches. The EC has said that he can reply by November 8..
The EC had issued a notice to Gandhi for his speeches in which he had 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, had asked him to explain by Monday why action should not be initiated against him for prima facie violating the Model Code of Conduct.
"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," the EC notice served on him had said.
Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are among five states which go to Assembly polls in November-December this year.
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 it will proceed to take appropriate action without any further reference.