The Maharashtra State Election Commission filed a complaint against Congress leader Milind Deora on Friday for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct during a campaign rally in Mumbai on April 4.
The party candidate from the Mumbai South constituency had claimed the Shiv Sena insulted the Jain community by cooking meat outside a Mumbai temple during Paryushana festival in 2015. He asked voters to teach Shiv Sena a lesson in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking to NDTV about the Congress leader's allegations, Arvind Sawant, Shiv Sena leader from South Mumbai, said, "Shiv Sena has never done such a thing. And will never do it. This is all politics. Now I want to ask him (Deora) whom will you ask votes from in Byculla, Mumbadevi, Kalbadevi?"
The complaint comes after a Sena candidate brought the poll body's attention to the comment, claiming they were "false and religiously sensitive".
The Paryushana festival is annual event within the Jain community in which an eight-day fast is observed.
In 2015, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation banned the sale of meat for four days during the festival. The BJP-led government had pushed for an eight-day ban but the Sena, which had a majority in the civic body, refused.
Ironically, the Sena and the Congress appeared to find themselves on the same side of this issue back then.
"Is it for the government to decide what I eat, what I drink, what I wear, where I sleep, when I speak? What you are seeing across the country is the creeping spectre of fascism," Congress leader Manish Tewari had said at the time.
Now, however, with the 2019 Lok Sabha polls ongoing, the Congress seems to have taken a stance against the Sena, with the regional party apparently staying firm on opposing the ban on sale of meat during the festival.
The Mumbai South constituency goes to the polls on April 29. The seat is currently held by Sawant, who beat Deora in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.