A file photo of PM Narendra Modi
A file photo of PM Narendra Modi

EC gives clean chit to Modi, bars Sadhvi Pragya from campaigning for 3 days

  • At a rally in Latur on 1 April, Modi had urged the youth to vote in the name of heroes of the Balakot air strike
  • EC says Pragya Singh Thakur’s statements against deceased Maharashtra cadre police officer Hemant Karkare and comments on the demolition of Babri Masjid were in violation of the model code

NEW DELHI : For the second consecutive day, the Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his statement on 9 April during a rally in Latur, Maharashtra, urging the youth to cast their ballots in the name of the heroes of the Balakot air strike.

The Congress had filed a complaint against Modi in this regard, but the poll watchdog said it did not find the statements violative of the model code of conduct (MCC).

“A detailed report of the chief electoral officer, Maharashtra, was obtained. The matter has been examined in detail in accordance with the extant advisories, provisions of the MCC and, after examination of complete transcript of the speech... the commission is of the considered view that in this matter no such violation of the extant advisories/provisions is attracted," the EC said.

The Congress had alleged that Modi was seeking votes in the name of defence forces.

On Tuesday, the EC had given Modi a clean chit, saying it did not find his comments slamming Congress president Rahul Gandhi for contesting from Wayanad in Kerala in violation of the model code. The Supreme Court had on Monday agreed to admit a petition by the Congress about the comments made by Modi at a rally in Latur on 1 April.

In a separate development, the EC on Wednesday imposed a 72-hour campaign ban on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur. The EC said Thakur’s statements against deceased Maharashtra cadre police officer Hemant Karkare and comments on the demolition of Babri Masjid were in violation of the model code.

It barred Thakur from holding any public meeting, procession, rally, or road show, or giving interviews or speaking to the media for 72 hours beginning 2 May.

“The commission strongly condemns the impugned statements made in both the cases and warns Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thakur not to repeat such misconduct in future," the EC said on Wednesday.

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