I didn`t exploit communal sentiments: Rahul Gandhi to EC

Meeting the deadline, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi sent his reply to the Election Commission`s notice on his speeches.

Updated: Nov 08, 2013, 18:40 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Meeting the deadline, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Friday sent his response to the Election Commission`s notice on his speeches.

In his reply, Rahul said he did not violate model code of conduct.

Rahul said that he didn`t intend to exploit communal sentiments but was `referring to divisive politics`.

Justifying his comments made at rallies, Rahul told the Election Commission that he is entitled to talk about his party`s ideology, policies and programmes.

Gandhi`s reply came in a sealed enveloped to CEC a little ahead of the 11:30 AM deadline set by the poll body.

In the meantime, Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath confirmed receiving Rahul Gandhi`s reply but refused to share the details. "A decision will be taken soon," Sampath said, "adding all parties have not responded yet".
The notice was issued on the complaints made by the BJP to the commission.

On October 31, Rahul was issued notice by the poll panel for his speeches in which he accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of causing communal flare ups and said that ISI was contacting the Muzaffarnagar riot victims.

The commission, in its notice, had said Gandhi`s election speeches in Churu in Rajasthan on October 23 and Indore in Madhya Pradesh on October 24 were prima facie "violative" of the model code of conduct.

On Monday, the EC had given four days to Rahul to respond to its notice, which pertains to the speech in which the Congress VP had alleged that youth affected by the Muzaffarnagar riots were approached by the Pakistan`s Inter-Services Intelligence.

The model code prescribes 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, religious or linguistic".

It also states that "criticism of other political parties...Based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided" and that "there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes".