EC asks Modi to reply by Saturday on Sohrabuddin issue

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New Delhi, Dec 6 (UNI) The Election Commission today slapped a showcause notice on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his reported statement during an election meeting, justifying the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter, and asked him to file his reply by Saturday.

The directive from the EC came after it held an emergency meeting here to discuss the issue.

The Commission said it had acted on a complaint filed by social activist Teesta Seetalvad, who alleged that the Chief Minister's speech at Mangrol on December 4 ''amounted to an open invitation to violence and misuse of religion for political ends, and so was violative of the model code of conduct.'' In its showcause notice, the Commission said it had also taken note of media reports of the said speech.

''The Commission has considered the various inputs and the complaint, and has viewed the video recording of the said speech...

The Commission, prima facie, is of the view that the references to Late Shri Sohrabuddin and linking his name to terrorism, made in the speech, amounts to indulging in activity which may aggravate existing differences, creating mutual hatred and causing tension between different communities...'' it said.

The EC also observed that the speech would involve violation of the provision of clause (1) and (3) of Item I of the Model Code of Conduct, which read as follows: (I) No party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.

(3) There shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes. Mosques, Churches, Temples or other places of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda." The Commission directed Mr Modi to submit his reply by 1100 hrs on Saturday (December 8) for considering further action in the matter.

UNI

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