New Delhi: The Congress on Monday approached the chief election commissioner complaining against BJP president Amit Shah and vice president Om Prakash Mathur for alleged violation of the model code of conduct.

The model code of conduct came into force after the schedule for assembly elections in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry was announced by the Election Commission on March 4. Polls will be held between April 4 and May 16.

“In utter disregard to and violation of the model code of conduct, Amit Shah, while addressing a national convention of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) on March 5 at Vrindavan, made totally false, baseless and distorted statement against Congress party and its vice president Rahul Gandhi,” said the complaint by the Congress.

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“Amit Shah attacked the Congress vice president alleging that he (Gandhi) supported anti-national slogans in JNU.

“Yet again, BJP vice president Om Mathur made distorted and malicious statement against Rahul Gandhi on March 10, which was published in Times Nation on March 12, 2016 and circulated throughout the country including the states where elections have been declared,” it added.

The Congress said such malicious and defamatory statements were deliberately and intentionally made at a time when electoral exercise had commenced in five states.

“Such misleading statements are not permissible and are antithesis to the level playing field, as enforced by the commission for conduct of fair polls,” read the complaint.

“It is a matter of record that neither Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party supported anti-national slogans in JNU rather in unequivocal terms condemned anti-national slogans. Rahul Gandhi on February 13, 2016 categorically stated ‘anti-India statements are unquestionably unacceptable’,” it added.

The Congress also said statements made by both Shah and Mathur were clearly in violation of the model code of conduct.

“It is prayed that stern action may be taken against them, apart from prosecution,” it said.

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