The Election Commission on 1 November issued a showcause notice to Rahul Gandhi for his remarks that BJP makes Hindus and Muslims fight each other and said prima facie the Congress vice president has violated the provisions of the model code of conduct in force for Bihar polls.
The poll panel has also issued a showcause notice to Rashtriya Janata Dal Chief Lalu Prasad for his reported remarks dubbing BJP chief Amit Shah as "cannibal" and that he has also "gone mad".
The election watchdog also referred to Prasad's reported remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he was described as a "vampire".
Holding that prima facie the RJD chief has violated the model code, poll panel gave him time till 3 PM of November 4 to file his reply else it will take action without further reference to him.The watchdog also "cautioned" JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav for his reported remarks to influence voters in the name of divine displeasure and said he should follow the provisions of the model code as he is a senior politician.
In its order, the EC rejected Yadav's contention that the statement was made as an "emotive appeal" using a "hyperbole and metaphor".
The Commission has given Gandhi time till 3 pm on 4 November to explain his stand "failing which the EC shall take a decision without any further reference to you.
"Quoting from his election speech made on October 29 in Benipatti in Madhubani district, the Commission recalled that Gandhi had said: "What is their plan B-make Indian fight another Indian. Wherever they go- UP, Maharashtra, Haryana- wherever there is an election, their army goes and they make Hindus fight the Muslims.
"The poll watchdog reminded Gandhi that the model code does not provide for criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations. It also said "distortion" of any kind must be "avoided".