The Election Commission issued a notice to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his ‘panauti’ remarks targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Election Commission on Thursday issued a notice to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his ‘panauti’ (bad omen) and ‘jebkatra’ (pick pocket) remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The notice came a day after the BJP filed a complaint with the poll body against the Wayanad MP.
The Election Commission has asked Rahul Gandhi to submit a reply by 6 pm on Saturday, explaining why action should not be initiated against him for violating the Model Code of Conduct.
At an election rally in Rajasthan earlier this week, Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at PM Modi by calling him a ‘panauti’ and saying his entry in the stadium made India lose the 2023 World Cup final match against Australia last Sunday.
The ECI notice stated, “It is alleged that comparing a Prime Minister to a ‘Jaibkatra’ (pickpocket) and using the word ‘Pannauti’ is unbecoming of a very senior leader of National Political Party. Further, the allegation of grant of waivers of Rs 14,00,000 crores for the past 9 years, is asserted by the BJP, as not borne out on facts. Furthermore, they are allegedly in violation of various sections of the Model Code of Conduct.”
The Commission stated that the expression ‘panauti’ “falls in the equity of the prohibition” under a section of MCC that deals with “corrupt practices”.
The poll body also referred to an earlier general advisory in which it had “expressed concerns at the plummeting level of political discourse in the campaigning period and advised all to operate within the confines of MCC and as expected decency in public discourse”.
The notice also mentioned Supreme Court pronouncements regarding MCC and freedom of speech.
On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi, at a poll rally in Rajasthan’s Jalore said, “Ache bhale hamare ladke waha pe World Cup jeet jaate, par panauti harwa diya (our boys were almost winning the World Cup, but the ‘bad omen’ made them lose).”
Rahul Gandhi’s remarks invited sharp criticism from the BJP, which called the comments “shameful and disgraceful” and demanded an apology.
Article source: indiatoday.in