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Cong moves EC over Modi's 'khooni panja' barb

New Delhi, Nov 9, 2013 (PTI):
 Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at the BJP's Central Election Committee meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo

Congress today moved the Election Commission over Narendra Modi's controversial "khooni panja" barb at the party during a rally in Chhattisgarh, seeking "stern action" against BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate.

Slamming Modi for his alleged "intemperate, malicious and defamatory" remarks, Congress party in its communication to Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said that by describing the hand symbol of Congresss as "Khooni Panja" and "Jalim Hath" Modi is using derogatory language even for the Commission since it has reference to the symbol allotted by the Commission.

"The use of the expression khooni panja is extremely significant and deplorable and has an effect of terrorizing the public at large against Congress," the party said.

The party also sent to the EC a DVD of Modi's speech at Dongargarh delivered on Thursday when he had made the remarks as well as clippings of a newspaper report.

"The tone, tenor and language used by him (Modi) apparently shows that he has intentionally and deliberately used abusive words and remarks. The code permits criticism of other political parties confining to their policies and programme, their past record of work, but the statement made by him is not a criticism as contemplated under this clause but he is using intemperate language which is also malicious and defamatory.

"He even goes on to criticize the Congress party based on unverified allegations, rather deliberately he has distorted the facts to mislead and misrepresent to the public at large. Since this programme was also televised by the electronic media, these statements made by him were also shown in different parts of the country," Secretary of AICC legal department K C Mittal said in the communication.

Congress' complaint to the EC follows days after BJP had complained to the poll watchdog against Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi's "ISI" remarks about Mujaffarnagar communal violence victims, which had created a huge political controversy.

The party also sent the EC the text of Modi's speech in which the BJP leader had made the remarks.

The party said the manner in which Modi first referred to Congress' election symbol and said it would lead to the ruin of Chhattisgarh and later referred to "khooni panja" was calculated to depict Congress party and its symbol "in the worst possible light and caused the people to develop a fear against the party".

"The use of the expression khooni panja is extremely significant and deplorable and has an effect of terrorizing the public at large against the Congress. Khooni panja means a bloodied hand and directly accuses Congress party of being involved in heinous activities," the AICC said.

It said since Modi has been representing BJP, the opposition party is also "equally guilty" for violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

The party requested the EC to "take stern action" against BJP and Modi for "violation" of Model Code of Conduct.

Earlier, BJP, in its complaint to EC, had protested against Gandhi's claim that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence was in touch with some of the victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots. The complaint had seen EC issuing a notice to Gandhi who in his reply maintained that he did not violate the model code of conduct.

The Congress Vice-President yesterday responded to the notice, defending his remarks and maintaining that he had not violated the model code.

Congress is also learnt to have taken strong objection to another remark by Modi, at a rally in Bahraich, in which he said, "I feel that in the next elections it would not be the trio of Samajwadi Party, BSP and Congress which would be in the election fray. I feel that in the next elections CBI and Indian Mujahideen... they would take care of the elections so as to save the fortress of Congress."

The party could be approaching the EC on this issue as well.


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