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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Tuesday denied having violated the Model Code of Conduct in his reply to the Election Commission notice over his "khooni panja" remark made during poll campaign in Chhattisgarh.
In his nine-page reply filed on Tuesday evening before the Commission, a day ahead of the deadline, Modi said he has only exercised his right of free speech by criticising the policies and work of Congress and thus has not violated the Model Code. "I am of the clear opinion that I have not violated the said provision," he said.
Modi said even though he has himself been subjected to much criticism, including use of abuses against him, he has maintained the diginity of political discourse and has not made personal attacks on any of his opponents.
Though Modi has sent a reply to the EC, a delegation of senior BJP leaders led by party vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will meet Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and two other Election Commissioners tomorrow to hand over a copy of Modi's reply officially.
The BJP leaders will also complain against Congress leaders, including its vice president Rahul Gandhi, accusing them of continuously violating the Model Code by making all kinds of statements and allegations against Modi and BJP.
Modi has said he has not made any wild allegation against the Congress and its leaders and whatever said by him is not unverified and is very much in public domain.
He said criticism of an opponent is inevitable in an election and the 'khooni panja' (bloody claw) and 'zalim haath' (ruthless hand) remarks are popular Hindi expressions used only figuratively. "It is used as a colloquial metaphor," he said.
The Election Commission had asked Modi to reply to its notice over his "khooni panja" remark by November 20.
The EC had issued a notice to Modi on November 13 to reply as to why action should not be initiated against him for his "khooni panja" remarks, allegedly in reference to the Congress poll symbol, which is a picture of a hand.