2019 Elections: Modi’s Balakot strike remark comes under EC scanner

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks asking first-time voters to cast their votes in favour of those who carried out the air strikes at Balakot in Pakistan has come under the scanner of the Election Commission and the poll panel has sought a report from the Chief Election Officer of Maharashtra in this matter.

Talking to PTI, Election Commission sources said that the chief electoral officer of Maharashtra has been directed to submit a report as soon as possible. The Prime Minister had made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing a rally in Maharashtra’s Latur.
“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)?” he had said.

It is to be noted that an advisory was issued by the EC in March asking political parties to not involve the armed forces in their political propaganda. “…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 had said in its advisory issued on 19 March.

Taking cognizance of Modi’s speech, CPI-M politburo member had written a letter to the EC, accusing Modi of violating the model code of conduct during his speech.

“With deep anguish we are drawing your attention to the latest violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is also violating the specific direction of the Election Commission to refrain from invoking the armed forces for seeking votes,” Basu said in the letter.

Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal also attacked Modi for doing politics in the name of armed forces and added that it is sad to see that no action is being taken by the Election Commission in this regard.