New Delhi/Patna: The Election Commission on Sunday issued showcause notices to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav for violating model code of conduct in Bihar and sought their explanations.
While the notice was served to Amit Shah for his “crackers in Pakistan” remark, the EC slapped another one on Rahul Gandhi seeking explanation over his "BJP makes Hindu, Muslim fight each other" comment.
According to media reports, the poll panel reminded Shah that a provision of the model code provides 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 or religious and linguistic communities.
The BJP chief had said in an election rally at Raxual on Indo-Nepal border in East Champaran district on Thursday that if BJP loses in Bihar, Diwali will be celebrated in Pakistan.
"Friends, remember if by mistake BJP loses here and Nitish-Lalu win, the results will be announced in Patna but firecrackers will go off in Pakistan," the EC notice said quoting from Shah's speech.
On the other hand, quoting from his election speech made on October 29 in Benipatti in Madhubani district, the Commission recalled that Rahul had said: "What is their plan B...Make Indian fight another Indian. Wherever they go -- UP, Maharashtra, Haryana -- wherever there is an election, their army goes and they make Hindus fight the Muslims."
The poll watchdog reminded Gandhi that the model code does not provide for criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations. It also said "distortion" of any kind must be "avoided".
The Commission has given both Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi time till 3.00 pm of November 4 to explain there stands "failing which the EC shall take a decision without any further reference to you," read the notice.
Meanwhile, the EC also referred to Lalu's reported remarks against Prime Minister in which he described Narendra Modi as a "vampire".
Holding that prima facie the RJD chief has violated the model code, EC also gave him time till 3 PM of November 4 to file his reply else it will take action without further reference to him.
The EC also "cautioned" JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav for his reported remarks to influence voters in the name of divine displeasure and said he should follow the provisions of the model code as he is a senior politician.
In its order, the EC rejected Yadav's contention that the statement was made as an "emotive appeal" using a "hyperbole and metaphor".