ECI issues show cause notice to Rahul Gandhi over his derogatory remarks against PM Modi

Earlier Rahul Gandhi while addressing a rally in Barmer claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presence in the Narendra Modi stadium was the reason behind India's World Cup final loss.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting at Nadbai, in Bharatpur district. (Photo | PTI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting at Nadbai, in Bharatpur district. (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India on Thursday issued a show cause notice to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his 'Jaibkatra' (Pickpocket) and 'Pannauti' remarks on Prime Minister Modi in an election rally.

The BJP wrote a complaint to ECI on November 22 about Rahul Gandhi using derogatory remarks about PM Modi in his rallies.

"Whereas, a complaint has been received from the BJP alleging that you, on 22nd November 2023 in a public meeting at Bayatu, District Barmer, Rajasthan made wild allegations and spoke in a derisive and obnoxious manner about the Prime Minister. It is alleged that comparing a PM to a "Jaibkatra" (pickpocket) and using the word "Pannauti" is unbecoming of a very senior leader of a National Political Party."

"Further, the allegation of grant of waivers of Rs. 14,00,000 crores for the past 9 years, is asserted by the BJP, as not borne out on facts," the ECI letter to Rahul Gandhi said.

"Furthermore, they are allegedly in violation of Section 123 (4) of the R.P. Act, Section 171G, 504, 505 (2), and 499 of the IPC, and provisions of the Model Code of Conduct," it added.

The ECI further asked Rahul Gandhi to explain why the action was not taken against him in the matter till November 25.

"Accordingly, you are requested to provide your explanation, on the allegation made and to show causes as to why action as deemed fit for alleged violation of MCC and relevant penal provisions is not initiated by the Commission. Your reply, if any, be reached by 18.00 hrs. of November 25, 2023. If no reply is received by then action deemed fit will be taken by the Commission," the letter said.

Earlier Rahul Gandhi while addressing a rally in Barmer claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's presence in the Narendra Modi stadium was the reason behind India's World Cup final loss.

“Ache bhale hamare ladke waha pe World Cup jeet jaate, par panauti ne harwa diya (our boys were almost winning the World Cup, but the ‘bad omen’ made them lose)," the Congress MP said while campaigning at Rajasthan's Barmer on Monday.

He also said, “The pickpocket (Jaibkatra) never comes alone, there are three people. One comes from the front, one from the back, and one from the distance… Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s job is to divert your attention. He comes on TV from the front and distracts the public by raising topics of Hindu-Muslim, demonetisation, and GST. Meanwhile, a businessman comes from behind and takes the money."

The BJP in its complaint to ECI asked to take appropriate action against the Congress leader.

"It will spoil the electoral environment, where abusing, usage of objectionable and offensive language to defame respectable individuals and spreading false news will become inevitable," BJP said.

(With online desk inputs)

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