Congress Saturday complained to the Election Commission against BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah over his alleged "provcative hate speech" relating to last year's Muzaffarnagar riots.
The party also demanded that Shah be arrested and banned from campaigning for "creating animosity between communities" in western Uttar Pradesh that saw communal tensions last year.
"BJP, Modi and Amit Shah are trying to replicate the politics of hatred and communal divide like what was done in 2002 in Gujarat," party spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters.
The Congress, in its complaint to the poll panel, quoted a media report, which said that Shah had made a "provocative hate speech" in a Muzaffarnagar village "to cause animosity between two communities, where communal violence had taken place recently and a large number of innocent persons were brutally killed."
The Congress also demanded "stern action" against the BJP and Modi, including derecognition of the party, for the alleged violation of model code of conduct.
"..the memory of the ghastly and deplorable incident is still vivid in the minds of the people. The statements as reported are with a calculated design to create communal hatred and tension between the two communities for seeking votes in the coming elections.
"This is also an appeal in the name of the caste and community and provokes communal feelings for the purpose of securing votes," the Congress said.
Speaking to reporters, Surjewala said: "We will make a demand to the state government and election commission that a criminal case is lodged against Amit Shah and Muzaffarnagar riots accused (legislator) Suresh Rana and they should be prevented from campaigning in any part of the country. There should be a complete ban (on them)."