No poll code violation by PM Modi in Patan speech: Election Commission

PTI New Delhi | Updated on May 06, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election rally at Ramnagar in Paschim Champaran district of Bihar   -  THE HINDU

This is the sixth clean chit to Modi by the poll watchdog

The Election Commission on Saturday gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Gujarat speech in which he had claimed that the Indian government had kept Pakistan on its toes to ensure the safe return of its pilot.

This is the sixth clean chit to Modi by the poll watchdog.

It was not immediately clear whether the decision on the April 21 Patan speech was unanimous.

One of the election commissioners, according to sources, gave a dissenting view in the EC’s decision to give a clean chit to Modi with regard to his speech at Wardha on April 1, where he attacked Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for contesting from the minority-dominated Wayanad seat in Kerala, and his appeal to first-time voters by invoking the Balakot airstrike and the CRPF jawans killed in the Pulwama terror attack on April 9.

He had also reportedly given dissent in the clean chit to BJP president Amit Shah for his Nagpur speech in which he had reportedly said that Wayand constituency of Kerala is where majority is minority.

In its Saturday’s decision, the EC said, ”...detailed report of the chief electoral officer, Gujarat was obtained. The matter has been examined in detail in accordance with the extant advisories, provisions of the model code of conduct. After examination, commission is of the view that in this matter no such violation of the extant advisories/provisions is attracted.”

In his Patan speech, Modi had reportedly said that he had warned Pakistan of “consequences” if it did not return Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured after an aerial dogfight with Pakistani F-16s that had violated Indian airspace and targeted military installations in February.

Pakistan released Varthaman on the night of March 1. Modi also spoke of a US claim that India had kept 12 missiles ready.

So far, the EC has cleared six speeches of Modi, two of Shah and one of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Gandhi had been issued a show cause notice for his Madhya Pradesh speech in which he had reportedly said that the government enacted a new law which allows tribals to be shot.

On March 19, the EC had issued an advisory asking parties not to invoke armed forces in their political campaign.

For more stories, click here - India Votes: Lok Sabha Elections 2019

Published on May 04, 2019

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