The Congress on Sunday sought to pay back the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in kind, demanding that the Election Commission take action against Narendra Modi for his khooni panja (bloodied hand) jibe on the election symbol of the ‘Grand Old Party.’

The petition comes a fortnight after the BJP demanded withdrawal of “national party” recognition granted to the Congress and action against its vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his “inflammatory” election speeches. Besides demanding action against Mr. Modi, the Congress has said the BJP should be proceeded against.

In the petition, the Congress has provided the exact quotes it found objectionable in Mr. Modi’s November 7 election rally at Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh. Besides using the term khooni panja, Mr. Modi made another reference to the Congress symbol, calling it jalim hatho (cruel hands).

A DVD of the speech and newspaper reports quoting Mr. Modi at that rally have been attached to the petition, with the Congress pointing out that neither the Gujarat Chief Minister nor the BJP had disputed media coverage.

Since the hand symbol was allotted to the Congress by the EC, the party has also tried to drive home the point that by “describing it as khooni panja’ and jalim hatho’, Mr. Modi is using derogatory language even for the Commission.” The manner in which Mr. Modi first referred to the election symbol and said it would lead to the ruin of Chhattisgarh and later brought up khooni panja was “calculated to depict the Congress and its symbol in the worst possible light” to generate fear, says the petition.