Ashok Lavasa seeks showcause notice against Rahul Gandhi

ET has reliably gathered that the Commission is of the view that the Supreme Court’s order on the issue must be closely examined before any decision is taken by the poll panel on ‘chowkidar chor hai’ comment.

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The EC had issued Gandhi a showcause notice on his speech in Shadol on April 23 and Madhya Pradesh on May 1.
New Delhi: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has recommended that a showcause notice be issued to Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his ‘chowkidar chor hai’ jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi in several campaign speeches. The Commission, however, is yet to take any final decision on this and over seven complaints made by the BJP against Rahul Gandhi. These speeches were mostly made in April.

ET has reliably gathered that the Commission is of the view that the Supreme Court’s order on the issue must be closely examined before any decision is taken by the poll panel on ‘chowkidar chor hai’ comment to avoid any incongruence.

While Rahul Gandhi has tendered an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for wrongly attributing his ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark against the PM Modi, the apex court has reserved its verdict on the criminal contempt plea filed against Gandhi by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi. Lavasa, who has since recused himself from deliberating on matters related to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), is also learnt to have raised the issue of why the matter of Gandhi's Madhya Pradesh speech, where he alleged that PM Modi had devised a law for tribals that would allow them to be shot dead, has not yet been brought before the Commission for a decision. The EC had issued Gandhi a showcause notice on his speech in Shadol on April 23 and Madhya Pradesh on May 1. Gandhi responded to it on May 10. The only Rahul Gandhi speech which has, in fact, seen an EC decision is the one made in Jabalpur where he referred to BJP president Amit Shah as a ‘murder accused’.


The EC gave him a clean chit on the same saying it was not assessed as an MCC violation. Lavasa has so far taken a strong line on the series of clean chits given to Prime Minister Modi over his speeches with references to Pulwama and Balakot or those with allegedly communal overtones. A complaint against the PM on his 'Bhrashtachari No 1' reference to former PM Rajiv Gandhi is still pending with the EC.

He has recorded his dissenting views on file and has been insisting on having them recorded separately in the final EC order.
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