The Congress on Thursday moved the Election Commission (EC) alleging that BJP leaders Keshav Prasad Maurya and Subramanian Swamy had made remarks amounting to soliciting votes in the name of religion and demanded "stern action" against the party.

In a complaint to the poll panel K.C. Mittal, Secretary, Legal and Human Rights Department of Congress, said that Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and BJP MP Subraminan Swamy had violated the model code of conduct ahead of elections in the five states. 

The party alleged that Maurya raked up the "contentious issue" of Ram temple last month and talked about its construction after assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. It said that after Maurya's remarks, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had made remarks "welcoming the statement of Shri Maurya".

"The statements made by Shri Maurya as well as Dr. Subramanian Swamy are in utter defiance of the instructions issued by the Commission and amount to soliciting votes in the name of religion," the party said.

It said the statements were also in violation of the observations made by the Supreme Court and the BJP or its leaders cannot place any reliance on its 2014 manifesto "nor under the garb of manifesto rake up religious card to solicit votes in the name of religion".

"As such, the Commission may be pleased to take stern action against BJP and their leaders and be restrained from addressing any rally, public or corner meetings or hold conferences during the operation of MCC (model code of conduct)," the party said. 

The Congress had earlier complained to the Election Commission on January 25 against Maurya for his remarks concerning construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya.

Elections will be held for the Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh assemblies in February-March.