New Delhi: The Election Commission has issued a notice to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for allegedly saying that 22,000 people will be killed if the BJP comes to power. The Commission said that Mr Gandhi had prime facie "violated the model code of conduct" and has asked him to file a response by May 12.
Last week, Mr Gandhi had, at a rally in Solan in Himachal Pradesh, allegedly said, "People from Japan ask me... they say 'we are scared about one issue. We will help you, we will build roads. But we are scared whether there will be peace... will people of India fight with each other?... This fear is there in our hearts'... If the BJP comes to power, then there will be fighting... 22,000 will be killed. This is because they spread anger...this question was never raised before."
The BJP had moved the Election Commission over the alleged remarks, providing the panel with a CD of his speech and newspaper clippings.
The Commission, in its order on Friday, noted that "No party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred." The notice also referred to the provision which refrains political parties and candidates from making distorted or unverified allegations against other parties. (Read Election Commission's notice)
The notice comes on a day when the Commission sought a detailed report on whether Mr Gandhi violated rules by entering the area where votes are actually cast in polling booths in his constituency of Amethi on Wednesday. Other parties had alleged that Mr Gandhi inspected electronic voting machines, or EVMs, in three polling booths. (Read more...)
Pictures of Mr Gandhi looking down at an EVM at a polling station in Amethi had been tweeted by the Aam Aadmi Party, which later sparked a furious debate on social media through the day on who is allowed in a polling booth and how. (FAQs on Who Can Be Inside a Polling Booth and Who Can't)