EC gives clean chit to PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi in poll related speeches

PTI

Election Commission File Photo, PTI

Election Commission File Photo, PTI

The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday gave a clean chit to Prime minister Narendra Modi, saying he did not violate the model code of conduct during his election speech in Rajasthan’s border town of Barmer where he invoked the armed forces and said that India’s nuclear button was not kept to be used for Diwali.

This is the third clean chit by the EC to the Prime Minister in connection with poll-related speeches.

Officials said the commission examined the matter in detail and it was of the “considered view that in this matter no such violation of the extant advisories/provisions is attracted.”

The EC, they said, examined the complete certified transcript of the speech of 10 pages sent by the returning officer of the Barmer parliamentary constituency.

The Congress had moved the EC alleging that the Prime Minister “brazenly” violated the poll code by repeatedly invoking the armed forces in his speeches and demanded that a campaign ban be imposed on him for some time.

During a poll rally in Barmer on April 21, Modi had said India is no more afraid of Pakistan’s nuclear threats.

“India has stopped getting scared of Pakistan’s threats, I have done right, no? Else every other day they (Pakistan) used to say ‘we have nuclear button’….What do we have then? Have we kept it (nuclear button) for Diwali?” he had said.

The Election Commission also held that Congress president Rahul Gandhi did not violate the model code of conduct during an election speech in Madhya Pradesh where he called his BJP counterpart Amit Shah a “murder-accused”.

Giving a clean chit to Gandhi, EC officials said the “complaint was examined in detail and after examination of the complete transcript of speech sent by the district electoral officer of Jabalpur, the Commission is of the considered view that no violation of the model code of conduct is made out.”

Gandhi made the purported remark during an election rally in Sihora district of Madhya Pradesh on April 23.

Attacking the BJP president, Gandhi reportedly said, “Murder accused BJP chief Amit Shah. Wah, kya shaan hai! (Wow, what a glory!)”

The BJP had complained to the EC about the comment.

The remark had prompted a strong rebuttal from Shah, who questioned the opposition leader’s “legal knowledge” and said the “fake” charge was dismissed as “politically motivated” by the court long ago.

“Let me tell you the gist of the order. I was slapped with a fake case and the court has already passed its order that it was a politically motivated allegation and was without any evidence. I don’t want to make any comment on the legal knowledge of Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

In 2014, a special court discharged Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter killing cases, holding there existed “no case” against him and that he had been implicated for “political reasons”.

on the other hand EC on Thursday issued a show cause notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his “Babur ki aulad” remark.

The EC pointed out that while addressing a rally in Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh on April 19, Adityanath had said “would you hand over the reins of the country to terrorists, to those who call themselves children of Babur (Babur ki aulad)…to those who oppose Bajrangbali”.

While giving him 24 hours to reply to the notice, the poll panel cited a provision under the Model Code of Conduct which states that no activity should be carried out which may aggravate existing difference or create mutual hatred between communities.

On April 15, the commission had censured Adityanath for his communal remarks and barred him for 72 hours from campaigning and on April 5, he was let off by the EC with a light rap for his “Modiji ke sena” remark.

(PTI)