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As SC serves notice to Rahul, BJP urges EC to take cognizance of violation of model code

As SC serves notice to Rahul, BJP urges EC to take cognizance of violation of model code

New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) The BJP on Monday stepped up attack against Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his repeated utterances against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Rafale and also for misquoting Supreme Court ruling.

The BJP also demanded that perhaps it is high time Rahul Gandhi tendered an apology.

"BJP demands that the Election Commission should take serious cognizance of the remarks of Rahul Gandhi," BJP leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.

"I do not know, how far it may be right to make a demand from Rahul Gandhi. But we demand that if there is some shame left in him, Rahul Gandhi should tender apology to the country," the Union Minister said.

He said after filing nominations from Amethi on April 10, Mr Gandhi had made remarks wherein he had sought to attribute words in the verdict or ruling of the Supreme Court which the apex court had not said.

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi had filed a contempt plea in the top court on Friday in which she said the Congress president has been "misinterpreting" the apex court's ruling on the Rafale deal with France.

She also had alleged that Mr Gandhi had repeatedly put his own words as the court's verdict.

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Mr Gandhi and said he should respond on or before next Monday. The matter, it said, will be heard on April 23.

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said, 'It has become a Congress habit to lie. Rahul Gandhi and Congress have become synonyms of 'jhoot' and 'loot'".

Mr Javadekar also maintained that Prime Minister's credibility will not be affected by all this.

The Supreme Court had dismissed pleas to probe Rafale fighter jet deal with France, blunting the opposition’s attack on Mr Modi in the multi-billion-dollar purchase.

The apex court had in December said that there will be no court-monitored probe into the Rafale deal.

In its observation the Supreme Court on Monday said, "We make it clear that views, observations, findings attributed to this court in the alleged speeches, remarks made by (Rahul) Gandhi to media or public have been incorrectly attributed to this court".

"We also make it clear that this court had no occasion to make such observation," the media reports said quoting the court's ruling.

Mr Prasad said one of the chief model code of conducts is that no candidate or leader should pass averse remarks on constitutional bodies, but this is exactly what Mr Gandhi has been indulging in and doing so 'repeatedly'.

"The Model code of conduct says one should not make false charges," Mr Prasad said and maintained that it was truly unbecoming that someone was 'distorting' the verdict of the Supreme Court and making false charges against political rivals.

"The Election Commission should take very very serious cognizance," he said adding Rahul Gandhi "stands guilty" in the given circumstances.

"We believe Rahul Gandhi is 'hatash (demoraliased)'. Entire Congress party realises that the defeat is imminent and therefore such statements are being made," Mr Prasad observed

The ruling BJP on Friday had launched two-pronged attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his repeated 'chowkidar chor hai' scathing criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought intervention of the Election Commission on the matter.

BJP lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi had approached the Supreme Court with a plea to initiate contempt proceedings against the Congress leader.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also told reporters "We feel let down" that Election Commission chose to look the other way in spite of "our earlier complaints against Rahul Gandhi on the same issue".

A BJP delegation comprising Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Ms Sitharaman, Nalin Kohli and Anil Baluni met the poll panel and made a submission on the issue.

UNI DEVN-RSA 1721

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