"I found Congress symbol in Shivji, Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir's blessing hand up pictures"is religious comments: BJP

The BJP has alleged that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi violated the model code of conduct by "co-relating the Congress election symbol with religious figures". The party has filed a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh, where elections will take place next month from February 11 to March 8, against the Congress leader. The BJP has also sought the withdrawal of the Congress' election symbol 'hand' and also cancellation of its recognition as a national party.
"Rahul Gandhi, at a convention, named as 'Jan Vedna Sammelan' in Delhi on January 11, 2017, made religious comments by co-relating the symbol of Indian National Congress with religious gods such as Shivji ; Guru Nanak; Buddha; Mahavir; and Islam, violating the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, MCC and the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court," the BJP wrote in its complaint on Friday.
Mr Gandhi had said: "I found Congress symbol in Shivji, Guru Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir's blessing hand up pictures. I asked Karan Singhji what it meant. He said (it means) 'don't get afraid.'"
"It's a blatant violation of the model code of conduct and strict action should be taken against Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party for trying to influence voters not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in other poll-bound states, "said senior BJP leader Bhupendra Yadav.

Rejecting the allegation, Congress leader PL Punia said, "What Rahul (Gandhi) said was just a statement to highlight the high recall value and the emotional bond with the Congress symbol. What is so objectionable about that? "
"Under Para 16A and 18 of the Election Symbols Order, 1968, and the allotment of hand symbol of Congress party may kindly be withdrawn with immediate effect, along with cancellation of its recognition as a national party," the BJP letter read.

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