Modhwadia pulled up for taunting Modi

Arjun Modhwadia

The Election Commission has reprimanded Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia for having compared BJP leader Narendra Modi with a monkey and having asked about the latter's "married life" during a speech in Vadodara last month. The EC has also slapped a notice to former chief minister Keshubhai Patel for using a pilot car with beacon lights and blaring sirens during campaigning.

Modhwadia made his comments on November 2, the EC served him a showcause notice on November 21, and Modhwadia replied six days later. The reprimand is dated Wednesday.

The notice had quoted Modhwadia as having said, "Every morning he (Modi) asks Dr Manmohan Singh, come and fight elections against me... Just as a monkey climbs a tree and asks the lion on the ground to come up, come up..." and, "However, chief minister, within you life what about your married life? Gujarat knows it. Why don't you disclose it one day?"

In his reply, Modhwadia said his speech had been "incorrectly translated". But the EC's order Wednesday said he "had circumvented the matter instead of sending the correct translation of his impunged speech if he genuinely believed that his speech has been incorrectly translated". It said, "The Commission is satisfied that Arjun Modhwadia, prima facie, has violated ... the model code of conduct," and that it "has decided to reprimand Modhwadia... and warns him to be careful in future".

The notice to Keshubhai too was dated Wednesday. The former CM, who has broken away from the BJP and launched his own GPP, has been given until 5 pm on Saturday to reply.

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