NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is learnt to have told the Election Commission that he has not violated the model code by his claim that the Narendra Modi government has enacted a new law that allowed tribals to be shot at.
Responding to the show cause notice, Gandhi is learnt to have told the poll panel that he had tried to summarise a proposed amendment to the Indian Forest Act in a simple language during a political speech. He also told the Commission that he had no intention of misleading the people by stating unverified facts.
Gandhi is also learnt to have told the poll panel that the complaint was lodged against him to distract him from campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections.
Citing his speech in Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh on April 23, the poll panel had on May 1 issued the show-cause notice to Gandhi, highlighting a provision of the Model Code of Conduct that barred "unverified" allegations against political opponents. Two BJP workers had approached the EC with the complaint, following which a report was sought from MP poll authorities.
According to a broad translation of the Hindi speech available on the internet, Gandhi had alleged, "Narendra Modi government has made a new law for tribals in which there is a line that says tribals can be shot at. They snatch your land, take away your jungle and water and then say that tribals can be shot at."