Posted on May 3, 2019, 8:17 PM IST
PM Narendra Modi gets second clean chit from EC
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech appealing first time voters to draft their vote with Balakot airstrikes in mind, was granted a clearance by the Election Commission on Wednesday. This was the second clean chit given to Modi after questions were raised by the opposition.
After having cleared PM’s speech at Wardha, the EC was quick to give another clearance on Wednesday after the speech given by him at Latur, Maharashtra on April 9th proved to be problematic for opposition leaders. “Mein zara kehna chhahta hoon mere first-time voteron ko. Kya aapka pehla vote Pakistan ke Balakot mein air strike karnewale veer jawanon ke naam samarpit ho sakta hai kya? Mein mere first-time voter se kehna chhahta hoon ki aapka pehla vote Pulwama mein jo veer shahid hue hain un veer shahidon ke naam aapka vote samarpit ho sakta hai kya?” Modi can be heard saying in the speech.
The commission this time, however, went against the Maharashtra Chief Electoral Officer and Osmanabad Direct Electoral Officer’s opinions who found the speech to be “inconsistent” with the Model Code of Conduct’s clear instructions to not use armed forces for propaganda.
Reported by the Indian Express, the Commission meeting on Tuesday over-ruled on the technicality that Modi did not seek votes for either his party or himself while invoking the Balakot air strikes.
An EC official speaking anonymously stated that DEO and CEO’s comments were rejected as they were based on “just five lines of the speech.”“The decision was made after taking the whole speech into consideration,” it was added.
In its reply to Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, the EC on Tuesday stated, “The matter has been examined in the context of extant ECI’s advisory dated 04.12.2013, which was reiterated on 09.03.2019 and a sequel issued on 19.03.2019, provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and after examination of complete transcript of speech of eleven pages as per the certified copy sent by the Returning Officer, 40-Osmanabad Parliamentary Constituency on 13.04.2019, Commission is of considered view that in this matter no such violation of the extant advisories/provisions is attracted.”
The poll panel on March 19 had specifically written to all parties, prohibiting the use of armed forces to gain political ground.With Wednesday’s decision, two of the five complaints by the Congress against the PM have been cleared by the EC. On Tuesday, it was stated that MCC wasn’t violated in Modi’s April 1 speech at Wayanad either. The PM, addressing a rally in Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Wayanad had stated that the party was “running away from majority-dominated areas” to “take refuge in areas where the majority is in minority”.