In his response to a show-cause notice, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has told the Election Commission that his speech in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol did not violate the model code of conduct and that he was well within his political and constitutional rights when he spoke about the Indian Forest Rights Act.
On April 23, Gandhi was quoted as saying, “They snatch away your land, jungle and water …and then, say that the tribal people can be shot at.” After a complaint by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the EC had sent Gandhi a notice. In a 172-page reply, Gandhi said his words were in Hindi and hence flowed freely as part of a political speech.
Gandhi’s reply further asks the poll body to be fair, and lists out “highly objectionable words and statements” made by Modi as well as BJP president Amit Shah on which complaints were filed and “unreasoned and cryptic” orders were given out. In this list, he mentioned Modi’s April 21 speech in Patan and then in Barmer, and his April 25 speech in Varanasi. All of these have been cleared by the EC.
Separately, the EC sent a show-cause notice on Friday to Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for remarks at a rally in Bhopal, where he said that Modi stole money from the poor and gave it to the rich. Sidhu has to file a reply within 24 hours.
May 10, 2019 23:51 IST
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