EC notices to Shah, Rahul, Lalu

The Election Commission tonight issued showcause notices to BJP president Amit Shah, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, after it held they had “prima facie” violated the model code of conduct in force for Bihar Assembly polls.
The poll panel said Shah had prima facie violated the model code with his remark that if his party loses Bihar elections, crackers will go off in Pakistan.
“…The Commission is, prima facie, of the opinion that by making the statement which has the potential of disturbing harmony and aggravating the existing differences between social and religious communities, you have violated provision of the Model Code of Conduct,” the notice said.
The poll panel reminded Shah that a provision of the model code provides that no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities or religious and linguistic communities.
Shah had told an election rally at Raxual on Indo-Nepal border in East Champaran district on Thursday that if BJP loses in Bihar, Diwali will be celebrated in Pakistan.
He is said to have repeated the same in another rally at Bettiah, headquarters of West Champaran district on Thursday itself.
“Friends, remember if by mistake BJP loses here and Nitish-Lalu win, the results will be announced in Patna but firecrackers will go off in Pakistan,” the EC notice said quoting from Shah’s speech.
The Commission also issued a showcause notice to Rahul Gandhi for his remark that BJP makes Hindus and Muslims fight each other.
The poll panel also slapped a showcause notice on RJD Chief Lalu Prasad for his reported remarks dubbing Amit Shah as “cannibal” and that he has “gone mad”. Besides, it referred to Lalu’s reported remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi wherein he had called him “vampire”.
Quoting from his election speech made on October 29 in Benipatti in Madhubani district, the Commission recalled that Rahul had said: “What is their plan B…Make Indian fight another Indian. Wherever they go — UP, Maharashtra, Haryana — wherever there is an election, their army goes and they make Hindus fight the Muslims.”
The poll watchdog reminded Gandhi that the model code does not provide for criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations. It also said “distortion” of any kind must be “avoided”.
All these leaders have been given time till 3 pm on November 4 to explain their stand “failing which the EC shall take a decision without any further reference to you.”
The EC also “cautioned” JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav for his reported remarks aimed at influencing voters in the name of divine displeasure and said he should follow the provisions of the model code as he is a senior politician.
In its order, the EC rejected Yadav’s contention that the statement was made as an “emotive appeal” using a “hyperbole and metaphor”.
“Those who do not keep their promise…. Then the Hindus will not get a place in heaven and Muslims will not meet Allah in paradise,” Yadav had reportedly told an election rally in Nalanda on October 7 following which the poll panel had issued him a showcause notice. (PTI)


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