EC gives clean chit to PM for ‘Mission Shakti’ speech

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 29, 2019

In this video grab taken from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official twitter handle, Modi announces the success of Mission Shakti, India’s anti-satellite missile capability, in New Delhi, on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.   -  PTI

The Election Commission (EC) has given a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his speech announcing the ‘Mission Shakti’ project did not violate the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

In a report filed after Modi announced on March 27 that India had successfully tested an anti-satellite missile, the CPI(M) had contended that the speech was a violation of the MCC, which is in place for the Lok Sabha elections.

In a complaint to the EC, Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, CPI(M), had said that such a mission should normally be announced to the nation and to the world by the relevant scientific authorities such as the Defence Research Development Organisation.

Interestingly, even as the EC was examining the complaint, there were reports that Modi had mentioned Mission Shakti at political campaign rallies around the country.

Three aspects

The EC examined three aspects of the case — whether there was a violation of the MCC, (the issue of) law and media. It collected material from All India Radio and Doordarshan to decide on the matter.

Meanwhile, the EC has asked NITI Aayog’s Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar to submit his reply by April 2, on whether his criticism of Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s announcement on a minimum basic income scheme as a poll promise was a violation of the MCC. Kumar had sought time till April 5 to submit his reply.

Published on March 29, 2019

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