The EC had asked Rahul to reply on its notice regarding the former's statement on Muzaffarnagar riots. Modi and other BJP leaders were irked by young Gandhi scion's speech where he accused opposition party leaders of igniting communal violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.
Demanding strong action against Rahul, BJP had moved the EC and had filed an official complaint against him. BJP, in its complaint,referred to Rahul's speeches at rallies in Churu and Kherli in Rajasthan on Oct 23. Rahul allegedly had "made certain false and baseless allegations against the members of the BJP and made communal utterances, thereby inciting communal feelings of people of different communities".
The complaint also included Rahul's allegation made during a rally in Indore on Oct 24 that Pakistani agencies (read ISI) were trying to reach out to young Muslims whose families had been affected by the Muzaffarnagar riots.
Taking action on BJP's complaint, EC sent a notice which said, "The Commission is prima facie of the view that your (Rqahul Gandhi) aforesaid speeches are violative of above-referred sub paras (1), (2) and (3) of Para 1 of the model code of conduct for political parties and candidates."
Rahul, who was busy in celebrating Diwali, sought 1 week time to respond
"The Election Commission of India calls upon you to explain by 11.30 hours on November 4, 2013 as to why action should not be taken against you for the above-mentioned violations of the model code of conduct," added EC.
However, Rahul sought a week time to respond to the notice. His office has asked for an extension of the deadline, claiming that it needs more time to draft its response because the young politician was busy with the festival season.
Here it can be mentioned that the EC, in its notice, had mentioned that it will take appropriate action without any further reference if Rahul fails to respond to the charges within the prescribed time limit.
Congress may face trouble if the EC takes any action against Rahul Gandhi ahead of the assembly elections in five crucial states -- Rajasthan, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.