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Rahul, Modi get pulled up by EC

Gandhi faced ire for his ‘communal’ comment during poll speeches in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh last month, while Modi was slapped with a notice from EC for prima facie violating the model code of conduct over his ‘khooni panja’ remark on the Congress poll symbol, during an election rally in Chhattisgarh.

The commission has advised Gandhi to be more circumspect in his public utterances during election campaigns. Issuing an order on Wednesday, EC said it took exception to the ‘tone, tenor and content’ of Gandhi’s speeches, wherein he had accused the BJP of instigating one community against the other and suggested that Pakistan’s ISI was in touch with the youth affected by Muzaffarnagar riots.

‘With regard to totality of facts and circumstances of the case and submissions and contentions made by you in your reply, the commission hereby conveys its displeasure and advises you to be more circumspect in your public utterances,’ the EC conveyed to Gandhi in its order.

Stating that the commission was not satisfied with Gandhi’s explanation that his observations were only a criticism of BJP’s policies and progammes and that the emphasis of his speeches was on maintenance of communal harmony rather than creating hatred or communal tension, the EC held that his utterances were not in consonance with the spirit of the model code.

While in the case of Modi, the EC, in its notice said, ‘Whereas, it has been, prima facie, observed that by making the aforesaid statements, you have violated the provisions of the model code of conduct. Now, therefore, you are hereby called upon to explain by 5pm of 16 November 2013 as to why action should not be taken against you for aforesaid violation of model code of conduct.’

The election commission said if no reply is received within the prescribed time, it will be presumed that he has nothing to say and the commission will take appropriate action without any further reference to him.
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