NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi's interviews to Gujarati TV channels aired on Wednesday on the eve of final phase of the Assembly elections sparked a row as the BJP filed a complaint with the Election Commission against the Congress president-elect for "violating" the Model Code of Conduct.
As the BJP and the Congress were locked in a war of words over the interview, the Election Commission issued a show cause notice to Rahul Gandhi to explain by 5 pm on December 18 as to why action should not be taken against him.
Later in the evening, Congress reached out to the EC and urged the poll body to "stay unbiased".
Congress delegation that visited the EC alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal have violated Model Code of Conduct time and again.
Urging the EC to stay unbiased, it said that PM Modi has even misused the FICCI platform to attack the Congress party.
Congress media in-charge Randeep Surjewala said: "During 2014 General elections, Modiji gave interviews to television channels, which were telecasted throughout the country. But the EC did not take any action. Modiji even showed BJP symbol on the voting day again the EC did not act."
"Today Amit Shahji gave an interview to a news channel and Piyush Goyalji held two press conferences on Gujarat elections but the EC did not say anything. Also, the BJP held a press conference a day before the 1st phase of Gujarat election and the party released its manifesto a day before voting day," he said.
These double standards won't work. If these are the criteria, the first FIR should be filed against PM Modi and other BJP leaders instead of the media," Surjewala said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the BJP has raised a strong objection over Gandhi giving interviews to media channels even as the party has lodged a complaint with the EC for the same.
The poll body then said Gandhi's interview aired on several news channels was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct implemented in Gujarat due to Assembly polls. It has also issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi for the same.
In a press statement, the EC said it has asked TV channels to "forthwith stop" airing interviews of Rahul Gandhi as they violated the election law and directed the Gujarat poll authorities to lodge FIRs against anyone for infringement of legal provisions.