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1-min read

EC Says PMO Did Not Seek Permission For Modi's Address, Decision on Poll Code Violation Likely Today

The EC had on Wednesday formed a panel led by a deputy election commission to examine the PM’s speech after complaints by opposition parties.

News18.com

Updated:March 28, 2019, 11:59 PM IST
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EC Says PMO Did Not Seek Permission For Modi's Address, Decision on Poll Code Violation Likely Today
File photo of PM Narendra Modi. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: The Election Commission is likely to decide on Friday whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on India successfully testing an anti-satellite missile violated the model code of conduct, which is in force for the Lok Sabha election.

The EC had on Wednesday formed a panel led by a deputy election commission to examine the PM’s speech after opposition parties complained that he highlighted an "achievement" of the government and the issue was not necessarily related to national security.

The committee, which has met twice since Wednesday evening, is likely to finalise its report by Friday evening. It would then be placed before the commission for a final call.

A senior poll panel functionary said the Prime Minister's Office had neither informed nor sought the EC's permission on Modi's address in which he informed people about Mission Shakti, a space feat that put India in an exclusive club with US, Russia and China.

A source in the EC, however, said no response has been sought from the PMO.

Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena, in charge of the Model Code division, told a media briefing here that the poll watchdog had sought details from DD and AIR about the source of feed of the PM's address. The two broadcasters have responded and the EC is examining their response "in the light of what we want to know".

Saxena is heading the committee of officers set up on Wednesday to examine the matter.

Responding to a question on whether the EC would seek the response of YouTube as it was the 'platform for the feed', he said the committee is examining all aspects.

The panel would go through the video and the transcript of the address. The PM addressed the nation after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security Wednesday morning which was apparently apprised of the development.

In his address, Prime Minister Modi announced that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space superpowers.

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