Did Prime Minister Narendra Modi violate poll code with his ‘Mission Shakti’ announcement? The Election Commission is likely to announce its verdict over the address row on Friday evening. Though there was a strong buzz over the poll panel giving clean-chit to the Prime Minister, no official statement has been made so far. In fact, the Deccan Herald has reported about the Election Commission’s clarification that no decision has been taken so far. The poll body is still analysing the broadcast.
According to The Hindu, the special panel constituted by the Election Commission was examining the responses received from Doordarshan and All India Radio on PM Modi’s address to the nation. At a press conference, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had neither informed, nor sought any permission from the ECI for broadcast of his address.
The decision was taken after the Opposition complained that the PM's address violated the model code as he highlighted an "achievement" of the government and the issue was not necessarily related to national security.
"The matter related to the address of the Prime Minister to the Nation on electronic media today afternoon has been brought to the notice of the Election Commission of India. The Commission has directed a Committee of Officers to examine the matter immediately in the light of Model Code of Conduct," the EC spokesperson tweeted Wednesday night.
“There is no great urgency in conducting and announcing the mission now by a government past its expiry date. It seems a desperate oxygen to save the imminent sinking of the BJP boat. We are lodging a complaint with the Election Commission,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Twitter. “Today’s announcement is yet another limitless drama and publicity mongering by Modi desperately trying to reap political benefits at the time of election. This is a gross violation of Model Code of Conduct,” she said in another tweet.
Giving key details about the mission, PM Modi announced India’s anti-satellite missile system with a successful test against a low earth orbit satellite. “India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised & modern capability. Entire effort is indigenous. India stands tall as a space power! It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony,” PM Modi said on Twitter after the national address.
The Prime Minister had advertised his address to the nation on Twitter, calling it an important message. “Do watch the address on television, radio or social media,” he said, setting off speculation across the country on what the topic was likely to be. Earlier in the day, the Cabinet Committee on Security had met at the Prime Minister’s residence.
(With agency inputs)