Rahul Gandhi Gets Poll Body Notice For ‘Panauti’ Comments On PM Modi

Congress’s Rahul Gandhi has come under the lens of the Election Commission over his “Panauti” comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The commission sent him a notice today, asking him to provide an explanation to the allegations made in a complaint filed by the BJP. He has to file his response by Saturday evening.

The BJP complaint also alleged that Mr Gandhi had used other derogatory terms and made unverified allegations during his campaign in Rajasthan, where assembly elections are due on Saturday. The use of such language is “unbecoming” of a senior leader, the complaint read.

In its notice, the Election Commission pointed out that the Model Code of Conduct prohibits leaders from making unverified allegations against political rivals.

On Tuesday, speaking at a rally in Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi had accused PM Modi of attempting to divert attention from key issues at the heart of the election.

“He comes on TV and says ‘Hindu-Muslim’ and sometimes goes to a cricket match,” he said. “Our boys would have won the World Cup but the panauti (bad omen) lost us the match,” he then said, referring to India’s defeat to Australia at the World Cup finals on Sunday.

PM Modi had attended the match, played at a stadium in Ahmedabad named after him.

While the comment, complete with memes, went viral on social media, the furious BJP demanded an apology.  

Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the comment was “shameful, condemnable and disgraceful”.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekar said they indicated “desperation and mental instability”.

“A 55yr old who has never worked a day in his life, whose family has exploited country like Parasites for decades wth their corruption and whose govt destroyed country economically in the #LostDecade,  wud refer like this to our PM is sign of desperation and mental instability,” read his post on X, formerly Twitter.

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