BJP accuses Priyanka Gandhi of making false claims related to PM Modi’s temple visit in Rajasthan, seeks action from EC

New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday accused Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of “invoking the personal religious devotion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi” to make false claims during her poll campaign in Rajasthan and urged the Election Commission to take action against her.

A BJP delegation, including Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Arjun Ram Meghwal and party leaders Anil Baluni and Om Pathak, submitted a complaint to the EC to take appropriate legal action against the Congress general secretary.

Vadra, the BJP noted in its submission, told a public meeting in Dausa on October 20 that she saw it on TV that when an envelop of donation made by Modi at a temple was opened, it carried only Rs 21. She adds that she saw the news and is not aware if the claim is true or not, the BJP’s complaint read.

She then went on to launch a political attack on the BJP saying that “envelops” are shown to public by the party but nothing is found in them after the elections. The BJP included a video of her remarks in its complaint.

Assembly polls are scheduled to be held in Rajasthan on November 25.

Speaking to reporters, Meghwal and Puri said she has committed a “crime” as per the existing laws.

“Is Priyanka Gandhi above the law? Does she believe in any law? She is using religious feelings to stoke disharmony. She cannot do it,” Meghwal said, asserting that the claim related to Modi’s donation is a lie and has been highlighted by the media as well. She is still repeating a lie in connection to the prime minister’s temple visit way back in January, he said.

The BJP’s complaint to the EC stated, “This statement of Priyanka Gandhi has violated the very basic foundation of free & fair elections by invoking the personal religious devotion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” It added that she herself is not aware of its veracity.

Her remarks violated the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of People Act, the BJP said.

The RP Act speaks against “the publication by a candidate or his agent or by any other person of any statement of fact which is false, and which he either believes to be false or does not believe to be true, in relation to the personal character or conduct of any candidate, or in relation to the candidature, or withdrawal, of any candidate, being a statement reasonably calculated to prejudice the prospects of that candidate’s election”, the party said.

The IPC also considers making a false statement in connection with an election an offence when the intent is to affect the poll’s result, it added.

“Hence, the commission is requested to initiate appropriate legal proceedings as per the provisions of RPA 1951 and Indian Penal Code together with immediate action for violation of model code so as to ensure that no one is allowed to influence the elections by creating a fake narrative by making false, libelous and defamatory statements or hurt the religious sentiments of the people by making such irresponsible statements,” the BJP said.