The Election Commission on Friday gave time to the former Gujarat Chief Minister, Shankersinh Vaghela, till 5 p.m. on Monday to reply to the show cause notice served by it seeking his explanation for his alleged hate speech made on October 31 at Surat in violation of the model code of conduct and the provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
Originally the Congress leader was asked to explain by 5 p.m. on November 15 (Thursday). However, he sought more time and sought requested for supply of copies of the reports sent by the Chief Electoral Officer, the Surat District Collector and a copy of the original complaint against his alleged communal speech.
The Commission — Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath and Election Commissioners H.S. Brahma and S.N.A. Zaidi — considered Mr. Vaghela’s letter in its sitting on Friday. Informed sources said, in his letter, Mr. Vaghela did not give explanation on the allegation of hate speech made against him.
According to the EC notice, Mr. Vagela made “objectionable and inflammatory speech which can incite and induce communal hatred” during a poll campaign in BRC ground in Surat and he referred to the riots witnessed in Godhra and other parts of Gujarat earlier.