BJP president Amit Shah had told an election rally at Raxual that if BJP loses in Bihar, Diwali will be celebrated in Pakistan.
The Election Commission on Sunday issued showcause notices to BJP president Amit Shah, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Rashtriya Janata Dal 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 Mr 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 Mr 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.
Mr 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".
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."