Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday ticked off Rahul Gandhi, expressing displeasure over the "tone, tenor and content" of certain remarks made by him during election campaign and asked him to be more "circumspect" in future.
The Commission expressed dissatisfaction over his eight-page reply to the EC notice for model code violation even while acknowledging the "underlying intention and spirit" of his speeches to "foster and promote communal harmony".
Four days after Gandhi`s reply to the EC denying having violated the model code, the poll body did not buy his argument that "no violation" has taken place.
"While the Commission acknowledges the underlying intention and spirit of your impugned speeches to foster and promote communal harmony, it takes exception to the tone, tenor and content of the impugned portions of your speeches (extracted in the Commission`s notice) which are part of your said speeches," it said.
"...The Commission considers that the aforesaid portions of your speeches were not in consonance with the letter and spirit of the Model Code of Conduct which prohibits any speeches or statements which may tend to aggravate differences between different religious communities and which also prohibits criticism of other political parties on the basis of unverified allegations," the five-page EC order added.
"Now, therefore, having regard to the totality of facts and circumstances of the case and submissions and contentions made by you in your reply under reference, the Commission hereby conveys its displeasure and advises you to be more circumspect in your public utterances during election campaigns," it also said.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman commented on Rahul`s reply to the EC, saying the Congress vice president didn`t focus on explanation but on playing the communal card. Congress has no answers to Modi`s development questions, said Rahul.
On November 08, Rahul had denied violating the model code of conduct when he blamed the BJP for the communal riots in Uttar Pradesh.
The Election Commission had asked Gandhi to explain his remarks made at rallies in Churu (Rajasthan) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh), saying the BJP was responsible for the September violence in Muzaffarnagar.
Gandhi had also reportedly alleged that the Pakistani intelligence was in touch some of the riot victims -- a remark that created a furore.
The poll panel had sent the notice to Gandhi after the BJP lodged a complaint.
According to the sources, Gandhi said he was legally entitled to talk about his party`s ideology, policies and programmes.
The Election Commission had wanted to know why action should not be taken against "you (Gandhi) for the above mentioned violations of the model code of conduct".
With Agency inputs