EC not satisfied with 'Khooni Panja' explanation

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Narendra Modi
New Delhi, Nov 22: Condemning the 'khooni panja' remark of BJP's Prime Ministrial candidate Narendra Modi during the Chhattisgarh election campaign, it has said that it was "injurious to the cause of decorous political discourse".

Earlier it was Rahul Gandhi who earned the ire of the Election Commission of India on the mention of communal riots where he accused the BJP openly for instigating tension.

Modi was accused of violating the model code of conduct that does not allow the criticism of a party based on "unverified allegations and distortions".

The EC further warned the BJP, saying,"The commission expresses its disapprobation (disapproval) in the matter, and expects... you... to be more careful in your public discourse in the future."

Modi in his explanation had said that the phrase was used as a colloquial expression and that it was not intended to the Congress party's symbol. Modi had also cited his right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) of the Constitution to attack a party's track record.

However, the EC said,"such right to freedom of speech and expression is not absolute and is to be exercised in such a manner that it does not transcend, inter alia, the boundaries of decency and morality or disturb public order or objective by its various provisions. While criticizing the policies, programmes and past records of political parties also, the expressions and utterances, even when used colloquially, have to be couched in such terms that the same conform to dignity, decorum and public morality."

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