Rahul Gandhi is learnt to have denied violating the model code of conduct in his reply to Election Commission’s notice for his reported remarks that if BJP comes to power, 22,000 people will be killed in violence, saying he has quoted facts available in public domain.
The Congress Vice President is understood to have told the poll panel that he was referring to deaths in terrorist violence during the rule of BJP, figures of which are available on various websites.
According to the notice issued by the EC on May 9, Rahul had, while addressing an election rally in Solan, Himachal Pradesh, on May 1 reportedly said “people from Japan ask me…they say we are scared over one issue. We will help you, we will prepare roads. But we are scared whether there will be peace…they say whether people of India will fight with each other or not?
“This fear is there in our lives as well. If there is BJP, there will be violence. If there is BJP, 22,000 people will die, because they spread anger…this question was never raised before.”
BJP had moved the EC against Gandhi for his remarks.
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The EC had reminded Gandhi of the provision in the model code which states that no party or candidate would indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred.
The show cause notice also referred to the provision which refrains parties and candidates from making distorted or unverified allegations and limit their criticism to policies and programmes of rival parties.
The Commission had asked Rahul to respond to the notice by Tuesday. But on Gandhi’s request, the Commission extended the deadline till the morning of May 15.