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Congress takes Modi's 'khooni panja' barb to EC

Congress takes Modis khooni panja barb to EC

New Delhi: The Congress has moved the Election Commission (EC) demanding stern action against the BJP's prime minister candidate Narendra Modi over his "khooni panja" remark at a rally in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, a Congress official said Sunday.

K.C. Mittal, secretary, legal and human rights department of the Congress, said the party late Saturday sent a complaint to the poll panel over Modi's remark, which was made Thursday.

"The hand is our election symbol... He (Modi) called it 'khooni panja' (bloody hand) at a Chhattisgarh rally. His remarks are against the model code of conduct and defamatory. We have demanded stern action against Modi and the BJP," Mittal said.

Mittal said Modi also described the Congress symbol as "zalim haath" (cruel hand) and the party will give more material to the EC in support of its complaint.

The Congress complaint comes only a few days after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained to the poll panel against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's speeches in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

The BJP said Gandhi violated the model code by accusing it of instigating communal riots. Gandhi had also said that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence was trying to reach out to Muslims affected by September's Muzaffarnagar riots.

Following BJP's petition to the poll panel, Gandhi was served a notice to which he replied Friday, and said he had not violated the model code of conduct.

The Congress said in its complaint that Modi at a rally at Dongargarh, in Rajnandgaon Thursday made objectionable comments.

Citing his remarks verbatim, the party said that norms prescribed by the poll panel say that "criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work."

The party said the tenor and language used by Modi apparently shows that he has "intentionally and deliberately" used abusive words and remarks.

The Congress said the manner in which Modi referred to "khooni panja" was calculated to "depict the Congress and its symbol in the worst possible light, and cause people to fear" it.

"The use of the expression 'khooni panja' is extremely significant and deplorable and has an effect of terrorising the public at large against the Congress. 'Khooni panja' means a bloodied hand, and directly abuses the Congress party, implying that it is involved in heinous activities," the party said.

It said Modi has failed to maintain "the standards of the level playing field" as prescribed by the poll panel.

The party also gave the poll panel a DVD of Modi's speech at Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh.


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