The Election Commission issued a show-cause notice to Union minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday for his "desh ke gaddaron ko" slogan at a poll meeting here, saying prima facie the remarks had the "potential of disturbing communal harmony" and the BJP MP had violated the election code and electoral law.
Thakur has been asked to respond to the notice before 12 noon on January 30 (Thursday), "failing which the commission shall take a decision without any reference to you".
In the show-cause notice, the EC referred to section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, dealing with attempts to promote enmity or hatred between different classes of citizens on the grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language.
The notice also said the EC received a report from the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer on Tuesday, which said Thakur chanted "desh ke gaddaron ko" and the crowd responded, saying "goli maro sa*** ko" (shoot down the traitors) several times, while addressing a public meeting in Delhi's Rithala assembly constituency on Monday.
It said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leader also made "certain other objectionable statements" at the meeting.
The Delhi CEO Office on Tuesday said it had submitted a report to the EC on the "provocative" language used by Thakur while canvassing for BJP candidates contesting the February 8 Delhi assembly polls.
At the Rithala rally, the MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh had egged on the crowd to raise an incendiary slogan -- "shoot the traitors" -- after lashing out at anti-CAA protesters.