If that was not enough, her recent appeal to Bukhari, urging him to ensure that his community’s votes don’t get divided during the Lok Sabha polls.

Taking a strong exception to Sonia’s remarks, BJP said that the Congress president is promoting communalism and even the Election Commission has made it clear that upon receiving complaint, the matter would be taken into cognizance.

Soon after it, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi lodged an official complaint with the EC over the issue.  The Congress has, however, dismissed the allegations leveled by the saffron party on Sonia Gandhi.

Sonia had met Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari on Tuesday, during which the Congress president had reportedly urged the religious leader to check division of Muslim votes.

Taking a suo motu cognizance of the matter, the BJP wasted no time in knocking the EC’s doors. The saffron party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, president Rajnath Singh and senior leader Arun Jaitley painted Sonia’s appeal to Bukhari with communal brush. BJP has charged Congress with flouting Model Code of Conduct by seeking votes on the basis of religion.

Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said that apart from Congress, leaders of several other parties are free to meet religious leaders, sages and seers. Sharma added that Sonia’s meeting with Bukhari does mean that the Congress is practising communal brand of politics.

Anand Sharma further said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is not the ‘sole guardian’ of Hinduism and even Congress leaders have the right to meet religious personalities and by meeting Bukhari, Sonia has not violated the Model Code of Conduct.

During Assembly elections, the Election Commission had cautioned Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over a similar matter.

Besides, Congress has already faced a big-time humiliation over Imran Masood’s inflammatory remarks and Rahul Gandhi, giving an explanation over the issue said, “Though the speech was made long time back, the party does not endorse or support such views.”

JPN/Bureau

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