Lucknow: The Election Commission on Thursday charged Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) General Secretary Satish Misra of violating the model code of conduct.

A show cause notice was issued to Misra late on Thursday evening, asking him to explain his conduct during a public rally at Chandauli district on February 5, when he allegedly appealed to the audience in the name of caste.

"Mr. Misra was found to have openly made appeals to his audience at the public rally to vote for the BSP since it was only political outfit combining the dalit and upper caste vote," a poll panel official told reporters here.

"He has been asked to submit his explanation latest by February 12," he added. Asked if anyone had made a complaint against Misra, the official said, "We have video recordings of the public rally where Mr. Misra went about repeatedly referring to BSP's Dalit-Brahmin social engineering."

According to the official, use of caste, creeds or religion in public meetings was not permissible under the model code of conduct. Misra had first shot into the spotlight as BSP's Brahmin mascot for playing a key role in building the "rainbow coalition" of the upper caste community with Dalits, the party's support base.