Election Commission gives clean chit to PM Modi for appealing to first-time voters citing Pulwama attack
The Election Commission on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to first-time voters to dedicate their votes to Pulwama martyrs was not violative of its advisory on invoking armed forces.
Last month, the Congress had moved the poll panel alleging that PM Modi had "brazenly" violated the poll code by invoking armed forces repeatedly in his poll campaign and demanded that a campaign ban be imposed on him for some time.
Addressing a rally in Ausa of Latur in Maharashtra on April 9, PM Modi had urged young voters to cast ballots in the name of heroes of the Balakot air strike.
PM Modi had said, "Can your first vote be dedicated to those who carried out the air strike."
"I want to tell the first-time voters: can your first vote be dedicated to the veer jawans (valiant soldiers) who carried out the air strike in Pakistan. Can your first vote be dedicated to the veer shaheed (brave martyrs) of Pulwama (terror attack)," PM Modi had said.
The poll panel had sought reports on PM Modi in the context of its advisory issued last month asking parties to desist from indulging in political propaganda involving actions of the armed forces.
"...parties/candidates are advised that their campaigners/candidates should desist, as part of their election campaigning, from indulging in any political propaganda involving activities of defence forces," the commission said on March 19.
On Tuesday, the poll panel had given clean chit to PM Modi for his speech in Wardha in which he had slammed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for contesting from Wayanad and had "indicated" that the Kerala constituency had more voters from the minority community.
The PM, while addressing a rally in Wardha on April 1, had reportedly said, the opposition party was "scared" to field its leaders from constituencies where the majority dominates.
He made the remark in reference to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's decision to contest from a second Lok Sabha seat Wayanad in Kerala. Rahul Gandhi is also contesting from Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.