New Delhi :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on the successful test-firing of an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile did not break the Model Code of Conduct, the Election Commission said on Friday.
"Committee has reached to a conclusion that Model Code of Conduct (MCC) provision regarding misuse of official mass media as contained in Para (IV) of Part VII of MCC isn't attracted in the case," the poll panel said.
India shot down one of its satellites in space on Wednesday with an anti-satellite missile to demonstrate this complex capability, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced, making it only the fourth country to have used such a weapon.
While all the opposition parties accused PM Modi of making the announcement to "reap political benefits", the Communist Party of India (Marxist) lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, terming his action as a "violation" of the model code of conduct.
In the complaint to the EC, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote to the Election Commission, asking it why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was allowed to "politically colour" the achievements of Indian scientists in the midst of polls.
"Such a mission should normally be announced to the nation and to the world by the relevant scientific authorities like the DRDO. Instead, the Indian Prime Minister has taken the route of an address to the nation in making this announcement," Yechury said.
The Model Code of Conduct is in place from March 10 for the April-May parliamentary election and some state polls.
Launching a counter-attack, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the erstwhile UPA government of not granting scientists permission to build the country's own anti-satellite missile, saying it lacked "capability and clarity".
BJP chief Amit Shah too hit back at the opposition parties saying "the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile was successfully tested in space but it seems a few people on Earth have also got hurt" and alleged that the "UPA did not have the courage to back its institutions and people", while the "NDA under PM Modi has shown the conviction to do so".