De-recognise Congress, BJP tells poll panel

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 17, 2017

A BJP delegation led by Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Prakash Javadekar coming out of Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi on Tuesday, after meeting the Election Commissioner   -  SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

The BJP has asked the Election Commission to de-recognise the Congress and freeze its election symbol on the grounds that its vice-president Rahul Gandhi violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). It referred to the recent Supreme Court verdict banning the use of religion to seek votes.

The BJP’s allegation is that Rahul linked the Congress’s election symbol, the ‘hand’, with all religious figures including Shiva, Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir and Hazrat Ali, thereby violating the MCC.

A six-member BJP delegation including two ministers — Prakash Javdekar and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi — submitted a seven-page memorandum to the EC while seeking a freeze on the Grand Old Party’s election symbol.

According to the BJP, Rahul made a statement aimed to “put absolutely false and baseless notions in the minds of the people that God Shivji, Shri Guru Nanak, Buddha, Islam and Mahavir’s pictures symbolised the Congress symbol”.

Its memorandum quoted Rahul in the recently convened Jan Vedna Sammelan in Delhi as saying: “I thought the Congress is only 100 years old. But I saw the Congress’s symbol in Shiva, in Guru Nanak, Buddha and in Mahavir’s pictures.

“So, I asked Karan Singh to tell me why I see the Congress’s symbol in every religion — in Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism...”

The contents of this speech, the ruling party told the EC, are “not only offensive but also attempt to communalise the polity in state where the assembly elections are announced. The contents are a direct appeal to voters from the electorates of a particular religion and as such it is a blatant violation of the Model Code of Conduct and guidelines issued by the Supreme Court”, it added.

The BJP appealed to the EC to de-recognise the Congress.

“We request you to take action against Shri Rahul Gandhi and suspend or withdraw the recognition of the Indian National Congress from contesting elections under paragraph 16A and Section 18 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968,” said the BJP.

Published on January 17, 2017

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