New Delhi: The Election Commission has issued a notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by saying “Narendra Modi has made a new law in which there is a line that says tribals can be shot at.” The EC has sought a response from the Congress chief within 48 hours for the remark made during a rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol.

The EC has taken cognizance of a complaint filed by the members of the BJP’s Election Commission Committee, Om Pathak and Neeraj. As per the complainants, Rahul had said, “Now, Narendra Modi has made a new law for Adivasis (tribals). In that law, there is a line that says that tribals can be shot dead. It is also mentioned that tribals can face encounters, their land can be stolen.”

In a letter dated April 30, the EC said it asked Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) on the aforesaid complaint, following which the state CEO submitted a letter with his comments on the matter as well as the transcript of Rahul’s Shahdol rally.

After examining the aforementioned comments made by the Congress chief, the EC came to the conclusion that the statement was clearly a violation of the MCC. Further, the EC added that if Rahul fails to submit an explanation within 48 hours, an immediate decision will be taken by the Committee “without further reference to him”.

The MCC came into effect from March 10, when Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced the schedule of Lok Sabha elections in the country.

The seven-phase elections, which began on April 11, will culminate on May 19. The results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 will be announced on May 23, the same day when the counting of votes will take place.

(With agency inputs)