New Delhi: The Election Commission has issued a show cause notice to Congress leader and Punjab Minister  Navjot Singh Sidhu for his remarks wherein he had Muslims  to not split their votes in  The poll panel has sought an explanation from Sidhu within 24 hours for his remarks in Bihar’s Katihar. If Sidhu fails to respond to EC within that period of time, the poll panel said it will take a decision without further reference to him.

The poll body said that prima facie it appears that Sidhu has violated provisions of the Model Code of Conduct, election law and a Supreme Court direction asking politicians not to mix religion with political discourse while electioneering.

“Therefore, the Commission, after considering the available material and extant instructions on the matter, has decided to provide you an opportunity to explain your stand regarding the said statemen(Full coverage on Lok Sabha Elections 2019)t. Your explanation shall be submitted within 24 hours of receipt of this Notice, failing which the Commission shall take a decision without further reference to you,” the EC stated in its letter to the Congress leader.

How the controversy started

On April 16, Sidhu had stoked a fresh controversy by urging Muslim voters to remain unified and vote in favour of Congress candidate to oust PM Narendra Modi. Sidhu also asked them to not let parties such as Owaisi’s AIMIM ‘split’ the votes going to the grand old party in Lok Sabha elections 2019.

Main aapko chetavni dene aya hun Muslim bhaiyon, ye baant rahe hain apko, ye yahan Owaisi jaise logon ko la ke,ek nai party khadi kar aap logon ka vote baant ke jitna chahte hain. Agar tum log ikathe hue, ekjut hoke vote dala to Modi sulat jaega’ (Muslim brothers, I have come here to warn you. They are trying to divide you. They are trying to divide your votes by bringing in people like Owaisi here and help a new party form its base here. If you all stand united and vote, then Modi will be finished,” said Sidhu while addressing a rally in Bihar’s Katihar.