'Rahul Has To Reckon With EC Shakti', Says BJP Slamming Him For His Shivaji Park Speech

'Rahul Has To Reckon With EC Shakti', Says BJP Slamming Him For His Shivaji Park Speech

The BJP has taken umbrage at Rahul Gandhi’s analogy of the word ‘Shakti’ which finds a mention in Hindu rituals and mythology

Gaurav Vivek BhatnagarUpdated: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 11:30 AM IST
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi |

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday complained to the Election Commission of India about a speech by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at Shivaji Park in Mumbai regarding the use of the word “Shakti” and charged that he had deliberately used the word to insult the religious values associated with it. As such, the BJP insisted, this constituted a violation of the Model Code of Conduct and demanded that the commission order registration of an FIR against Gandhi in the matter.

The BJP has taken umbrage at Rahul Gandhi’s analogy of the word ‘Shakti’ which finds a mention in Hindu rituals and mythology. Stretching the analogy and making it a part of his political lexicon, he had likened it to the all-encompassing ‘Shakti’ that they were fighting against (read Modi and the government agencies like ED). Rahul, carried away by his own rhetoric, had taken the metaphor a step further and suggested that ‘‘the king’s soul is in the EVM.’’ For the BJP the word “Shakti” is a byword for Goddess Durga which it says is “one of the most revered deities”.

Complaint lodged with EC

The complaint lodged with EC by Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri and party leader Om Pathak has castigated Rahul for his “obnoxious statement against Hinduism and Hindu gods” and charged that it had “deeply hurt the sentiments of Hindus as it was rendered with the malicious intention of insulting the religious values associated with ‘Shakti’.” The complaint further charged that Gandhi’s speech had also “raised false and mischievous allegations with respect to the authenticity of the EVMs” despite the pronouncement of the Supreme Court as well as clarification issued by the ECI that the concerns or doubts regarding these machines and VVPATs were “misconceived, devoid of merits and a regressive thought”.

In light of these concerns, the BJP demanded that the Election Commission instruct Gandhi to “offer an unconditional apology” and retract his utterances. It also claimed that this was an “egregious violation” of the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 and sought “stringent action” and lodging of an FIR against Gandhi. The party also demanded that social media platform ‘X’ be directed to take down the video of the event and subsequent tweets and that it suspend the official handle of the Congress for spreading this fake news. Finally, it demanded that Gandhi and Congress be directed to refrain from posting or propagating such “false information”.

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