Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi denied violating the Model Code of Conduct on Friday, in response to the Election Commission's notice on his speeches.
The scion of India's most powerful political dynasty had said during a rally in Madhya Pradesh that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI was in touch with Muzaffarnagar riot victims and charged Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with indulging in politics of hatred. "Rahul Gandhi's reply has come and it is under examination," said Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath.
In his reply, Rahul said he was 'referring to divisive politics' and didn't intend to exploit communal sentiments. The communal tensions in the Uttar Pradesh district of Muzaffarnagar reached a peak in August and were on the boil once again on 31 October when 44 people were killed.
Opposition party BJP had asked the Commission to take action against Gandhi for his statements at Churu and Indore rallies in Madhya Pradesh. The EC then served a notice to Gandhi asking him to explain why action should not be initiated against him for prima facie violating the Model Code of Conduct for his speeches.
"The Commission is prima facie of the view that your aforesaid speeches are violative of above-referred sub paras (1), (2) and (3) of Para 1 of the Model Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates," stated the notice.
On Friday, Rahul sent a sealed envelope to the Commission saying he was entitled to talk about his party's ideology and policies.
The model code during state assembly elections prescribes that "no party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic."