Shakti row: BJP complains to EC, says Rahul’s obnoxious’ remarks ‘hurt religious sentiments’

NEW DELHI: The BJP on Wednesday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi regarding his remarks about ‘shakti‘, stating that it “hurt religious sentiments“.
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who met Election Commission officials in New Delhi, to lodge the complaint said he “read out the exact thing” said by Rahul. “We made a detailed presentation …He [Rahul Gandhi] insulted the religious sentiments of a lot of people. He insulted ‘Nari Shakti’.”
During his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Mumbai on February 17, Gandhi had claimed: “There is a word ‘Shakti’ in Hinduism. We are fighting against a Shakti”.
“The question is, what is that Shakti? The soul of the King is in the EVM. This is true. The soul of the King is in the EVM and in every institution of the country, in ED, CBI, and the Income Tax department,” the Congress leader had said, alleging that PM Modi cannot win elections without voting machines.
Alleging that Rahul’s remarks violated the model code of conduct, the BJP said: “In Hinduism, Goddess Durga is one of the most revered deity and is also prayed by the name ‘Shakti’. This obnoxious statement against Hinduism and Hindu Gods has deeply hurt the sentiments of Hindus as it was rendered with malicious intention of insulting the religious values associated with ‘Shakti’ and creates enmity among the religions, so that the INC in general and Rahul Gandhi particular can appease some religious community.”
“Further, the pertinacious deed of the Congress and Rahul Gandhi is jeopardising the peaceful environment of this nation which may pose a serious challenge to the free and fair election,” it added.
As the term ‘Shakti’ is traditionally associated with the female deity and women folk in India, thus along with hurting the religious sentiments, it also has an underlying misogynistic tone, the BJP said in its complaint.
While announcing the schedule for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission had stated that it will adopt a zero-tolerance attitude towards any hate speech.
(With inputs from agencies)

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