The Election Commission has failed to act against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for inciting hatred against Muslims despite several complaints, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a letter to the poll panel on Sunday.

Yechury, in a letter addressed to the chief election commissioner, alleged that several BJP leaders had violated the Model Code of Conduct during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, adding that a series of his party’s previous complaints to the poll regulator about it had not been heeded.

The code is a set of rules that all parties, candidates and governments are mandated to follow in the run-up to an election. It sets guardrails for speeches, rallies and other aspects of poll campaigning.

“Their [BJP leaders’] resort to blatant lies and fabrication, fear mongering and overtly communal appeals were highlighted in these complaints,” the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader said. “Sadly, in none of these complaints has the ECI [Election Commission] punished the culprits.”

Referring to one of the complaints to the Election Commission against Modi’s speeches in April, Yechury said that the poll regulator had “after a lapse of many days” sent a letter to BJP President JP Nadda, in a departure from precedent.

The complaint pertained to Modi’s speech at an election rally in Rajasthan on April 21, during whichthe prime minister had claimed that the Congress plans to distribute citizens’ private wealth among “infiltrators” and “those who have more children” if voted to power, a dog-whistle reference to Muslims.

Modi was purportedly referring to remarks that Congress leader Manmohan Singh had made on December 9, 2006, when he addressed a meeting of the National Development Council. Singh, the prime minister at the time, had said that the country’s priorities were to uplift the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women and children.

The Election Commission sent a notice in connection with the prime minister’s speeches to Nadda on April 25.

However, Yechury, in the letter, said that the poll regulator’s notice to the Hindutva party had no impact as seen by repeated poll code violations by the prime minister and other BJP leaders in subsequent campaign speeches.

His letter also took note of Modi’s speech at Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki on Friday. Yechury alleged that the prime minister had said: “If SP [Samajwadi Party] and Congress come to power, Ram Lalla [Hindu deity Ram] will be in a tent again and they will run a bulldozer on Ram temple [in Ayodhya].”

The Ram temple was inaugurated in a ceremony led by Modi on January 22.

The temple is being built on the site of the Babri mosque, which was demolished by Hindutva extremists on December 6, 1992, because they believed that it stood on the spot where the Hindu deity Ram was born. The incident had triggered communal riots across the country.

On Sunday, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader also cited Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath’s remarks at a rally in Bihar’s Saran district on May 17.

Adityanath had said that “the Congress and RJD [Rashtriya Janata Dal] are trying to rob SCs [Scheduled Castes], STs [Scheduled Tribes] and OBCs [Other Backward Classes] of quotas and divert those to Muslims,” Yechury alleged.

However, the Congress manifesto makes no mention of giving reservations on the basis on religion. There are 14 states and Union territories where Muslim communities are included in the Other Backward Class list, based on social and economic backwardness.

Gujarat, where Modi was chief minister for 12 years, also lists Muslim communities among OBCs.

In his letter to the Election Commission, Yechury also cited Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s remarks at an election meeting in Bihar’s Siwan district on May 18. Sarma had said that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance would put an end to “this business of marrying four times” and that it “will shut down shops [in a reference to madrasas] that produce mullas [Muslim clergy]”.

Urging action against Modi, Adityanath and Sarma, Yechury also asked the Election Commission to act on the earlier complaints by the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

“We had through our earlier complaints warned the [Election] Commission that if it fails to take decisive action in cases where the offenders are those in high positions of power, the impartiality of the ECI will be in question and its credibility compromised,” he added.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), in another complaint to the Election Commission on April 13, had listed instances where Modi had made references to the Ram temple in Ayodhya and labelled the Opposition as “opponents of the temple” and being against Ram.