Accusing Rahul Gandhi of "inciting riotous behaviour" through his speeches at poll rallies, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission seeking action against him and Congress for violating the model code.
In its complaint, the BJP said the poll body should urgently issue a show cause notice to the Congress and its vice president Rahul on why action should not be taken against them for "willful and blatant" violation of the model code of conduct.
Referring to Rahul's speeches in Churu and Kherli (Alwar) in Rajasthan on October 23, the Opposition party said they violate the Model Code which is in force since October 4 when elections were declared to the states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.
Citing the model code which says 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, religious or linguistic, the BJP said portions of the impassioned speeches seem to be clearly violative of it.
The model code also says that criticism of other parties or workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided and there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.
"The actual utterances, the impassioned manner in which these are delivered would appear to incite a riotous behaviour which is not conducive to an atmosphere of peace and harmony in which the Election Commission is committed to conduct free and fair elections in the country," the BJP complaint said.
BJP leader R Ramakrishna said it is an accepted convention that one does not name a community even in the context of communal flare ups. "Here the Congress vice president throws all norms of decency and frontally names communities – the oppressor and the oppressed -- and blames it all on the Opposition (BJP is his only opposition in Rajasthan). If this is not an appeal to caste or communal feeling for securing votes (prohibited in para 1(3) of the MCC) what is it?"
Image: Rahul Gandhi, alongwith Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Congress leader Gurudas Kamat, seen at the rally in Churu on Wednesday
Photograph: Chandra Mohan Aloria