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Cong moves EC against Modi's 'poisonous' remark, using Red Fort replica

Last updated on: November 29, 2013 16:38 IST

The Congress on Friday moved the Election Commission to restrain the Bharatiya Janata Party from using a Red Fort replica in Narendra Modi's election rallies in Delhi.

The trigger was a newspper report that the BJP would do so as it wanted to convey that Modi would become the prime minister next year and deliver a speech from Red Fort.

Modi had earlier delivered a speech in Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh this year with a replica of Red Fort erected behind the stage.

"Red Fort is a national monument and government property which cannot be used by the BJP for election campaign directly or indirectly," Secretary of All India Congress Committee (Legal Department Cell) K C Mittal said in a formal complain to Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath.

He asked Sampath to issue necessary orders to prohibit the BJP from such use of the Red Fort.

The BJP believes that Modi's presence in the last leg of the campaign for Delhi polls could better its election prospects. Modi will be addressing a number of rallies in Delhi in next two days.

The party also moved the Election Commission seeking stern action against Modi and two other BJP leaders including Vasundhara Raje.

In a detailed complaint to Sampath on Thursday, Mittal referred to a speech of Modi on November 25 in which he had said that no other party except the Congress is in a position to "spread poison" since it was this party, which enjoyed power for 60 years thereby storing the poison of power in it for all those years.

Modi's barb was apparently directed at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who had once said that his mother told him that "power is poison."

These remarks by BJP's prime ministerial nominee also came after Sonia Gandhi, in an election rally, attacked the BJP for spreading rumours that the medicine being distributed by the Congress government in Rajasthan is poisonous and said that "the medicine is not poisonous but those people are poisonous, who do not have any feelings for the poor."

"On October 10 2013, Raje while addressing a BJP seminar at Jaipur said poison is being given in the name of medicines. It may be relevant to mention that the Rajasthan Congress government has provided schemes for free medical services to the people.

"On November 23, BJP's Rajya Sabha member Bhupendra Yadav also attacked the Congress for its advertisement on free medicines scheme and said the state government is indeed distributing poison and that Raje's remark was a reflection of the public sentiments," the party said in the petition.

Mittal said that sequence of these events clearly establish that the three BJP leaders did not confine themselves to the principles laid down in Mode Code of Conduct regarding the government policy but made statements which are totally "distorted and malicious".

"The statement made Modi in his address on November 24 would show that he was speaking out of context by distorting the facts to play to the public gallery. It is submitted that such statements are an impediment in conduct of fair and proper election and are not permissible in public discourse," the party said.

He said that Modi has "not learnt any lesson" from the Election Commission's "disapprobation" and he continues to flout the Model Code of Conduct and urged the EC to take "stern" action against the BJP and its three leaders -- Modi, Raje and Yadav for violation of Model Code of Conduct. 

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