The Election Commission on Saturday issued a show cause notice to Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for his appeal to Muslims in a constituency in Bihar to vote unitedly against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the elections, PTI reported.

At the rally in Katihar on April 16, the Punjab minister had claimed that the BJP is trying to divide the Muslims. “You are in a 64% majority here,” he told the audience. “I have come to warn you, that these people [BJP] are trying to divide you. By bringing in a person like [All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin] Owaisi here, by introducing a new party here, they want to win the polls. If you get united – the minority is in a majority here – and vote together, Modi will be defeated. You will hit a six. Hit such a sixer that Modi lands outside the boundary.”

The AIMIM had fielded a candidate in Kishanganj constituency of Bihar.

The BJP had filed a First Information Report against the Congress leader at Barasoi police station of Katihar district for violating the Model Code of Conduct.

The Election Commission on Saturday said prima facie it appeared that Sidhu had violated the poll code, election law and a Supreme Court direction asking politicians to not mix religion with political discourse during election campaign. The poll body asked Sidhu to respond to its notice within 24 hours, failing which the Election Commission will take a decision without further reference to him.