A day after its Saharanpur candidate Imran Masood was arrested on charge of making hate speech against Narendra Modi, Congress today told the Election Commission that the allegations against Masood were "unverified and distorted".
It alleged that BJP had violated the model of code by reacting to such allegations to "malign" its image and demanded that the saffron party be directed to apologise.
The commission may direct "BJP to tender apology publicly for criticism of INC and its candidate(s) on unverified and distorted allegations or take any other action as may deemed appropriate by the commission," AICC secretary K C Mittal said in a letter to EC, though Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had only yesterday disapproved of Masood's comments saying they were against the party's ideology.
Mittal said that BJP had violated the model code of conduct provisions by making false, distorted and unverified statements in public domain.
In the speech, which has gone viral on internet, Masood allegedly threatened to "chop" BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi "into pieces".
"It is only to malign Congress by making distorted and unverified statement even though clause 1(2) of the general conduct of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) categorically lays down that such criticism of other parties and their workers shall be avoided," Mittal said in his letter.
Congress also said that the video of Masood dates back to September 18, 2013, when he was in Samajwadi Party.
"Even the exact contents of the statement are yet to be verified. Moreover, it is also stated that a person namely, Sher Singh standing by the side of Masood, in the photograph has died long back. However, the matter is still under investigation," the letter said.
BJP had earlier appealed to Election Commission to take strong action against Congress for "repeatedly" violating model code of conduct.
Masood was yesterday arrested for his hate speech that sparked an outrage and sent to judicial custody for 14 days.