Take 'stringent action' against Rahul Gandhi for 'shakti' remarks: BJP to EC

BJP stated that Rahul Gandhi made such remarks about EVMs and the poll panel with an "intention to create public disorder"

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  20 March 2024 2:36 PM GMT
Take stringent action against Rahul Gandhi for shakti remarks: BJP to EC

New Delhi: The BJP Wednesday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against Rahul Gandhi for his "fight against a shakti" remarks at a recent rally in Mumbai, and urged the poll panel to take "stringent action" against the Congress leader and issue directions for lodging an FIR against him.

In a memorandum to the poll panel, BJP leaders Hardeep Singh Puri and Om Pathak alleged Gandhi's “fight against a shakti” remarks were rendered with “malicious intention” of insulting the religious values associated with 'shakti' and creating enmity among religions to appease “some religious community”.

"The statement made by Gandhi wherein he says that the fight is with Shakti was made with a malicious intention to hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindus. A large section of Hindus in India offer prayers to Shakti in Hinduism to the extent there exists a Shakti sect who refer to the Devi as Shakti,” the BJP leaders charged.

"Gandhi's call to fight against Shakti in Hinduism, directly implies that the Congress supporters should fight against the worshipping deities of Hinduism, which creates hatred against Hinduism," they added.

A day after his remarks at the Mumbai rally, Gandhi on Monday clarified that he was not talking about any religious power but the 'shakti' of unrighteousness, corruption and falsehood.

He accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of twisting his words and said he was speaking about the power of which Modi was wearing the mask.

The BJP leaders also alleged that Gandhi made “false and mischievous” claims with regard the the authenticity of electoral voting machines (EVMs) while addressing the Mumbai rally and raised questions on the Election Commission as well.

They demanded that the poll panel take action against Gandhi for his remarks about EVMs, contending that such kind of “disinformation and misinformation” without verification of facts was “prejudicial” to national integration.

Gandhi made such remarks about EVMs and the poll panel with an "intention to create public disorder", the BJP leaders charged.

"By raising these kinds of allegations, the Congress and Rahul Gandhi, in a way, are insulting the electorate of India. Furthermore, it is pertinent to mention that in the same event, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah blatantly denounced EVMs as a thief,” the BJP leaders said in their petition to the Election Commission.

The BJP leaders demanded that the Election Commission take “stringent action” against Gandhi and also “prosecute” him for his remarks.

“Take stringent action and direct lodging of an FIR and prosecute Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi may be instructed to offer an unconditional public apology and retraction for his utterances at Shivaji Park event in Mumbai,” they urged in their petition.

"Issue a direction to INC and Rahul Gandhi to refrain from posting, publishing, advertising and propagating the said false information through any and all means of communication either spoken, written, audio/virtually representation or otherwise," it said.

The BJP leaders also urged the poll panel to direct social media platform X to take down the video of the event, addressed by Gandhi, and “subsequent tweets and similar tweets” on the same content by other Congress leaders.

They also demanded that the poll panel direct the platform to suspend the official handle of the Congress “for spreading fake news”.

“Take cognizance of this egregious violation of the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and ensure that such offences are never repeated in future,” they added.

The BJP leaders said that “misinformation propagated by Gandhi, including lies about the EVM machines despite authoritative pronouncements by the Supreme Court” can have significant consequences with respect to the trust of the citizen in the election process.

“These threats are especially perilous in today's age since these falsehoods have the capacity to spread rapidly on social media, with platforms unwilling or unable to intervene, fuelling threats to election systems,” they said.

Inputs from PTI

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