Accusing the Congress of repeatedly flouting the election model code of conduct, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has complained to the Election Commission that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had made damaging remarks against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in an election speech in Maharashtra, linking the organisation to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
Seeking de-recognition of the Congress and demanding action against Mr. Gandhi, the BJP, in its complaint, said he and the Congress had been “habitual offenders” for violating the code.
“In his rally in Bhiwandi in Thane, Maharashtra, on March 6, Mr. Gandhi made certain false and baseless allegations against the members of the BJP and the RSS and also made communal utterances, inciting communal feelings among people of various communities,” said the complaint submitted to Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath by BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and former MP Satya Pal Jain. “The intention of Rahul Gandhi was to incite the feelings of the people by falsely portraying the RSS to be responsible for Mahatma Gandhi's death and further create a sense of fear among Hindus, Muslims and other communities that the BJP will create tensions between them,” Mr. Naqvi said.
He described the statements of Mr. Gandhi as not only “false, disgraceful, condemnable and baseless” but also “an utter violation of the model code of conduct as well as established democratic practices.”
Mr. Naqvi recalled that the Election Commission, on a complaint against the Congress and Mr. Gandhi by the BJP in November, conveyed its displeasure to Mr. Gandhi and advised him to be more circumspect in his public utterances during campaigns.