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Election Commission notifies Rahul Gandhi about his “panauti” remarks about Prime Minister Modi

Rahul Gandhi, the head of the Congress, received a notice from the Election Commission for his “panauti” statements directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi received a notification from the Election Commission on Thursday over his comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he described as “panauti” (bad omen) and “jaibkatra” (pick pocket). The notification was sent one day after the Wayanad MP was the target of a complaint from the BJP to the electoral board.

Rahul Gandhi has been asked by the Commission to respond by Friday at 6 p.m., outlining why he shouldn’t face any consequences for breaking the Model Code of Conduct.

Rahul Gandhi mocked Prime Minister Modi earlier this week at an election rally in Rajasthan, referring to him as a “panauti” and claiming that India’s loss to Australia in the 2023 World Cup final on Sunday was due to his arrival.

According to the ECI notice, “It is alleged that using the word ‘Pannauti’ and comparing a Prime Minister to a ‘Jaibkatra’ (pickpocket) is unbecoming of a very senior leader of the National Political Party.” Furthermore, the BJP claims that there is no evidence to support its accusation that waivers of Rs 14,00,000 crores have been granted during the last nine years. Moreover, they are purportedly in breach of other provisions within the Model Code of Conduct.

According to the Commission, the term “panauti” “falls in the equity of the prohibition” under the MCC’s “corrupt practices” clause.

The poll commission also cited a previous general advisory in which the “ECI advised all to operate within the confines of MCC and as expected decency in public discourse and expressed concerns at the plummeting level of political discourse during the campaigning period.”

The warning also included statements made by the Supreme Court about free speech and MCC.

Speaking on Tuesday at a polling place in Jalore, Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi stated, “Our boys were almost winning the World Cup, but the ‘bad omen’ made them lose.”

The BJP harshly criticized Rahul Gandhi’s statements, calling them “shameful and disgraceful” and demanding an apology.