New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) said on Friday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mission Shakti’ address did not violate the model code of conduct (MCC). (Also read: All You Need to Know About Mission Shakti) Also Read - 6-Day WEF Davos Summit 2021 Begins Online From Sunday; PM Modi, Xi Jinping Among Speakers
In the statement released by EC, it said that PM Modi did not mention his party or appealed for a vote in his favour. The poll body took a call on a probe report that was tabled before it by the panel it had constituted following a complaint by the CPI(M). Also Read - Can't Invite Then Insult Someone: Mamata Banerjee Boycotts Speech at Netaji's Event In Front of PM Modi
The EC said, “PM Modi’s Mission Shakti speech didn’t violate Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and added, “Committee has reached the conclusion that MCC provision regarding misuse of official mass media as contained in Para (IV) of Part VII of MCC isn’t attracted in the case.” Also Read - WHO Chief Thanks PM Modi For 'Continued Support' to Global COVID-19 Response
Reports said the EC cross-checked with Doordarshan whether it had recorded and aired the PM’s address and was informed that the channel only used a pre-recorded feed from a private news agency. “The government has sought permission in the past to use AIR for airing ‘Mann ki Baat’. Since the public broadcaster wasn’t used this time, they didn’t have to approach (EC),” an official had said earlier.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister had announced the successful test of an anti-satellite missile (A-SAT) while addressing the nation. In his address, he had 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. India became the fourth country to have tested an anti-satellite weapon after the US, Russia and China.
Following PM Modi’s address on Mission Shakti, the Opposition parties had alleged that the PM’s address violated the model code of conduct and demanded action in this regard.
In his complaint to the EC, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury had said, “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,” he had added. This, he said, was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
“I would like to know that if the Election Commission was informed of such an address to the nation by the Prime Minister and did the Election Commission consider and permit such an address to the nation by the Prime Minister? I am sure that the entire country would like to know the special reasons why the Election Commission permitted the achievements of Indian scientists to be politically coloured during the course of the general elections,” Yechury had added.
The EC then established a committee to probe whether the speech violated the model code of conduct or not. After Yechury, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had also mocked PM Modi saying, “Well done DRDO, extremely proud of your work. I would also like to wish the PM a very happy World Theatre Day.”
He also took a swipe at the PM by questioning the timing of the announcement.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member, Ahmed Patel said that the UPA government had initiated the A-SAT program which has reached fruition today and congratulated former PM Dr Manmohan Singh for the same. “I congratulate our space scientists and the visionary leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh,” he said.
The other leaders who attacked PM Modi were West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.