Noting that he prima facie violated the Model Code of Conduct, the Election Commission on Friday issued a show cause notice to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his alleged remarks that if Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) comes to power, 22,000 people will be killed in violence.
The Commission has asked him to respond to the notice by May 12 morning, saying if he does not present his case by 11 a.m. on Monday, the poll panel will take further action without further reference.
The notice said, “The Commission is, prima facie, of the opinion that by making the...statement you have violated...provisions of the Model Code of Conduct.”
According to the notice, addressing an election rally in Solan, Himachal Pradesh on May 1, Mr. Rahul had reportedly said, “People from Japan ask me...they say we are scared over one issue. We will help you, we will prepare roads. But we are scared whether there will be peace...they say whether people of India will fight with each other or not?
“This fear is there in our lives as well. If there is BJP, there will be violence. If there is BJP, 22,000 people will die, because they spread anger...this question was never raised before.”
The BJP had moved the EC against Mr. Rahul for his remarks.
It had provided the Commission with CD of his speech and newspaper clippings.
The EC reminded Mr. Rahul of the provision in the Model Code which States that no party or candidate would indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred.
The show cause notice also referred to the provision which refrains parties and candidates from making distorted or unverified allegations and limits their criticism to policies and programmes of rival parties.