Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is a “fighter” and will give a “dignified and honest” reply to the Election Commission’s notice over his “Jaibkatra” (pickpocket) and “Pannauti” remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an election rally.
“Rahul Gandhi is a strong and honest leader. I am confident that he will give a dignified and honest answer. He is a fighter. He can afford to be fearless because he is honest,” Ms Sule said on Thursday.
Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), she said, “We have so many examples of BJP talking about his family. So, now if he speaks something, why is there a need to feel bad? They (BJP) had even talked about his great grandfather.”
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday issued a show cause notice to the Congress MP on the BJP’s complaint to the ECI that Rahul Gandhi has allegedly made derogatory remarks in his poll rallies against PM Modi.
“Whereas, a complaint has been received from the BJP (copy enclosed) alleging that you, on November 22, 2023, in a public meeting at Bayatu, District Barmer, Rajasthan made wild allegations and spoke in a derisive and obnoxious manner about the Prime Minister. It is alleged that comparing a PM to a “Jaibkatra” (pickpocket) and using the word “Pannauti” is unbecoming of a very senior leader of a National Political Party. Further, the allegation of grant of waivers of Rs 14,00,000 crores for the past 9 years, is asserted by the BJP, as not borne out on facts,” the ECI letter to Rahul Gandhi said.
“Furthermore, they are allegedly in violation of Section 123 (4) of the R.P. Act, Section 171G, 504, 505 (2), and 499 of the IPC, and provisions of the Model Code of Conduct,” it added.
Earlier Rahul Gandhi while addressing a rally in Barmer claimed that PM Modi’s presence in the Narendra Modi stadium was the reason behind India’s World Cup final loss on Sunday.
“Our guys were playing well, they would have won the world cup. But ‘Pannauti’ made us lose. The TV guys won’t tell you this but people know,” Rahul Gandhi said while campaigning at Rajasthan’s Barmer on Monday.
The ECI further asked Rahul Gandhi to explain why the action should not be taken against him in the matter.
“Accordingly, you are requested to provide your explanation, on the allegation made and to show causes as to why action as deemed fit for alleged violation of MCC and relevant penal provisions is not initiated by the Commission. Your reply, if any, be reached by 18.00 hrs. of November 25, 2023. If no reply is received by then action deemed fit will be taken by the Commission,” the letter said.
The BJP in its complaint asked the ECI to take appropriate action against the Congress leader. “It will spoil the electoral environment, where abusing, usage of objectionable and offensive language to defame respectable individuals and spreading false news will become inevitable,” the party said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)