The Election Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “modern-day Aurangzeb”. Aurangzeb was a Mughal Emperor who ruled India from 1658 AD to 1707 AD.

The poll panel gave Nirupam 24 hours to respond to its notice, PTI reported. The commission observed that Nirupam had prima facie violated the Model Code of Conduct.

Nirupam told reporters in Varanasi on May 8 that several temples have been demolished in the city on Modi’s orders. “I feel that the person that people here [Varanasi] have chosen, Narendra Modi, is actually the modern-day avatar of Aurangzeb,” Nirupam said. “Under the name of building [Kashi Vishwanath] corridor project in Varanasi, several temples have been demolished, as per Modi’s instruction...There is also a Rs 550 fee for entering the temple of Lord Vishwanath [at Kashi Vishwanath temple].”

The prime minister is the sitting MP from Varanasi and is contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from the constituency, against Congress’ Ajay Rai. Varanasi will vote along with 58 other Lok Sabha constituencies across the country on May 19.

Nirupam had further said: “What Aurangzeb could not do, that Narendra Modi has done...There was a time when Aurangzeb came to the streets of Kashi to destroy our temples, even then the residents had saved her temples and protested.”

The sixth phase of the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections concluded on May 12. The results for all phases will be declared on May 23.