New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) gave third clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, in connection with poll-related speeches. Claiming that the PM did not violate the model code of conduct with his ‘nuclear button for Diwali’ remark during his election speech in Rajasthan’s border town of Barmer, the Commission observed that ‘in this matter no such violation of the extant advisories/provisions is attracted’.
PM Modi, on April 21, during a poll rally in Barmer, had said India is no more afraid of Pakistan’s nuclear threats. “India has stopped getting scared of Pakistan’s threats, I have done right, no? Else every other day they (Pakistan) used to say ‘we have nuclear button’….What do we have then? Have we kept it (nuclear button) for Diwali?” he had said.
Following the same, the Congress had moved the EC alleging that the prime minister ‘brazenly’ violated the poll code by repeatedly invoking the armed forces in his speeches and demanded that a campaign ban be imposed on him for some time.
As per the official sources close to the poll body, the Commission examined the complete certified transcript of the speech of 10 pages sent by the returning officer of the Barmer parliamentary constituency and reached to a conclusion that PM Modi’s speech was not violative of Model Code of Conduct.
In a similar move on Wednesday, the poll body concluded that PM Modi’s speech in Latur last month, in which he had urged first time voters to dedicate their votes in the name of the Balakot air strike heroes and the soldiers killed in the Pulwama attack, did not violate its instructions on invoking armed forces in poll campaigns.
On May 1, PM Modi was given clean chit by the EC for his speech in Wardha city of Maharashtra wherein he had slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his decision to contest Lok Sabha elections from Kerala’s Wayanad.
Notably on April 1, the Prime Minister, while attacking the Congress president for the ‘Hindu terror’ metaphor, had charged the opposition party with insulting ‘peace-loving’ followers of the religion by linking them to terrorism. “The Hindus have now woken up and the country has decided to ‘punish’ the opposition,” he had stated in Wardha.