EC Issues Show-Cause Notice To Rahul Gandhi Over 'Panauti', 'Pickpocket' Remarks Against PM Modi

EC Issues Show-Cause Notice To Rahul Gandhi Over 'Panauti', 'Pickpocket' Remarks Against PM Modi

The notice came after the BJP on Wednesday demanded action by the Election Commission against Rahul Gandhi for his 'panauti' and 'pickpocket' jibes at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Thursday, November 23, 2023, 05:46 PM IST
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The Election commission on Thursday issued show-cause notice to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his 'panauti', 'pickpocket' and loan-waiver remarks targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The notice came after the BJP on Wednesday demanded action by the Election Commission against Rahul Gandhi for his 'panauti' and 'pickpocket' jibes at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and recalled Indira Gandhi's "insult" of the Indian hockey team in the 1982 Asian Games final while praising its leader's encouragement to cricket players after their World Cup final loss.

What did Rahul Gandhi say?

During a political rally in Rajasthan's Jalore, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday labeled Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "panauti" (bad omen), attributing India's loss in the 2023 World Cup final against Australia last Sunday to his presence.

"Ache bhale hamare ladke waha pe World Cup jeet jaate, par panauti harwa diya (our boys were almost winning the World Cup, but the 'bad omen' made them lose)," Rahul Gandhi said.

Following the 'bad omen' remark, on Wednesday (November 22), Gandhi drew a comparison between PM Modi and a pickpocket, noting that "they come in groups." This statement was made during a rally held at Rajakheda in Rajasthan's Dholpur district.

“Pickpockets always come in groups of three. He never comes alone. The first person tries to distract you by saying something unconventional. Then comes the second person, his colleague, who picks the pocket and the third person keeps a watch on the victim. He particularly monitors the victim to see if he is resisting. If he does resist, then the third person attacks and threatens the victim. This is the way pickpockets operate. The one who diverts attention is Narendra Modi, the one who is pickpocketing is Adani and the person who threatens is Amit Shah," Gandhi said.

EC's show-cause notice

The election commission, in its notice, told Rahul Gandhi, "A complaint has been received from the BJP (copy enclosed) alleging that you, on 22nd November, 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 Prime Minister to a "Jaibkatra" (pick pocket) and using the word "Pannauti" is unbecoming of a very senior leader of National Political Party. Further, the allegation of grant of waivers of Rs. 14,00,000 crones for the past 9 years, is asserted by the BJP, as not borne out on facts. Furthermore, they are allegedly in violation of Section 123 (4) of the R. P. Act, Section 171G, 504, 505 (2), and 499 of IPC and provisions of Model Code of Conduct," the notice said.

"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 25.11.23. If no reply is received by then action deemed fit will be taken by the Commission," the notice added.

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