New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday steered clear of questions whether Rahul Gandhi will apologise in the wake of Election Commission ticking him off over the "tone, tenor and content" of certain remarks made by him during the poll campaign.
"Indian National Congress respects the role and independence of the Election Commission. We acknowledge their wisdom," party spokesman Randip Singh Surjewala said in reply to a volley of questions whether Rahul will express regret or apologise in view of the poll panel saying it was not satisfied with his contentions.
At the same time, Surjewala said the EC in its order had "duly recognised" the intention and spirit of Rahul to promote communal harmony.
In his reply to the EC`s notice, Rahul has told the poll panel, "My speeches reflect the argument that the spreading of this ideology of communal hate by the BJP is creating a highly combustible social environment in many states that explodes into violent conflict by even the smallest and most minor provocation."
Surjewala sidestepped repeated questions whether Rahul will apologise taking moral responsibility for the remarks found objectionable by the EC.
At one point, he said, "Our morale is high. We have always upheld moral values."
Four days after Rahul`s eight-page reply to the EC denying having violated the model code, the poll body did not buy his explanation, saying it was not satisfied with his contentions.
Rahul was served a notice by the Commission on October 31 for model code violation over his remarks made in Churu on October 23 and in Indore on October 24, where he said Pakistan`s ISI was in touch with Muzaffarnagar riot victims and charged BJP with indulging in politics of hatred.
Rahul had pleaded not guilty to such charges while seeking to justify his controversial remarks.
The BJP had made several representations to the EC against Rahul`s remarks and demanded action against him.