BJP has approached the central poll panel seeking action against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over his speech this week where he had talked of seeing his party’s symbol in the images of deities and saints. The ruling party has cited Supreme Court’s recent order which outlaws seeking votes in the name of religion or caste.
Addressing his party workers at the Congress meet in New Delhi, Gandhi had said, “I see the symbol of Congress party (hand palm) in Guru Nanakji’s photo, Lord Shiva’s photo, Hazrat Ali’s photo, those of Gautam Buddha and Mahavir Jain and others…”.
“I see the symbol of Congress party as the one saying ‘Fear Not’,” he had said on Wednesday.
On Friday, a BJP delegation led by former Uttar Pradesh MLC Shayam Nandan Singh, met the Chief Electoral officer of the state, T Venktesh, and requested him to take action against the Congress vice president and his party.
The delegation also handed over a video footage of Rahul Gandh’s speech, alleged that the comments were against the recent Supreme Court’s order.
“Rahul Gandhi’s behaviour is not only violative of the apex court’s orders but also against section 123 (3) of Representation of the People’s Act 1951,” the delegation said, further demanding “disqualification” of the Congress party.
In a far reaching development on January 2, the Supreme Court had held that any appeal for votes on the ground of “religion, race, caste, community or language” amounted to “corrupt practice” under the election law provision.
In a split verdict delivered by a 7-judge bench led by then CJI TS Thakur, the majority 4-3 ruled in the favour of denouncing the contention as “corrupt practice”.
Referring to the term ‘his religion’ used in section 123(3) of the Representation of The Peoples (RP) Act, which deals with ‘corrupt practice’, Chief Justice Thakur and three others – justices MB Lokur, SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao — said it meant the religion and caste of all including voters, candidates and their agents etc.