Congress to file complaint against PM Modi over 'deplorable' campaign speech

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photograph:( AFP )

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 20, 2017, 04.16 AM (IST)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may land in trouble for making seemingly divisive statements at an election rally in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.

The Congress is set to file a complaint with the Election Commission -- the authority that oversees election process in the country -- for making discriminatory statements at Fatehabad, a town in Uttar Pradesh, where he was addressing a public gathering as part of the state election campaign.

Modi had taunted the Samajwadi Party -- the party in power in Uttar Pradesh -- of being prejudicial towards the Muslims.

"Ramzan me bijli athi hai tho Diwali me bhi ani chahiye; Bhedbhav nhi hona chahiye (If there is electricity during Ramadan then it must be available during Diwali too; there shouldn't be any discrimination)," he had said.

Another statement that has not gone down well with the Congress is when Modi said: "Gaon me kabristan banta hai to shamshaan bhi banna chahiye" (If land is given for cemetery in a village, it should be given for cremation ground also)."

It is important to mention that the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, also known as SP, are fighting the Uttar Pradesh elections together. So a broadside against the SP is an indirect jibe at the Congress.

Secretary of the Legal and Human Rights Department of the Congress party, KC Mittal, confirmed that the Congress would file a complaint against Modi for making "deplorable" statements during his campaign speech.

Last week, the Congress has asked the Election Commission to take action against Prime Minister Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for hosting a public rally in Uttarakhand without permission.

Uttarakhand Congress president Kishore Upadhyay had dispatched a letter to the Election Commission, terming the Prime Minister's 10 February public rally as unauthorised and an open case of model code of conduct violation.

In January, the BJP had demanded that the Election Commission freeze the election symbol of Congress alleging that its vice-president Rahul Gandhi violated the model code of conduct by linking his party symbol 'hand' with various religious figures.

Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, is the middle of a hard-fought, and often bitter, election campaign. There are seven different phases of polling and the result would be declared on March 11.

(WION with inputs from ANI)