In a major relief to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, the Election Commission this week gave a clean chit to the duo in several alleged cases of violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) filed by the Congress. While the PM was let off the hook in four of five complaints against him, Shah was also given a clean chit in two cases.
Let us have a look at the cases and what the EC had to say.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Complaint 1: ‘Rahul taking refuge in areas where majority is in minority’
The grand old party had approached the poll watchdog on April 5 after the PM hit out at the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi over his decision to contest the Wayanad seat this election. While addressing a rally in Wardha, Modi had said that the party was “running away from majority-dominated areas” to “take refuge in areas where the majority is in minority”. He also said the Congress tried to label Hindus as terrorists and that the party would not be forgiven for it.
However, the poll panel found no violation of the MCC on Tuesday.
Complaint 2: PM urges first-time voters to ‘dedicate’ their voters to Pulwama soldiers
At a poll rally in Latur in Maharashtra, Modi had appealed to first-time voters to “dedicate” their votes to the “brave soldiers” who carried the Balakot air strike and to the “brave martyred” in the deadly Pulwama attack.
“I want to ask my first-time voters, can your first vote be dedicated to the soldiers who conducted the Balakot air strikes? Can your first vote be in the name of the martyrs who lost their lives in Pulwama,” PM Modi had said.
After seeking a report from the state chief electoral officer, the EC found no violations and gave a clean chit to the PM.
Complaint 3: PM Modi’s ‘nukes not for Diwali’ remark
The Congress approached the EC after Modi, at a rally in Barmer, warned Pakistan saying India’s nuclear arsenal is not meant for Diwali.
Modi said, “Bharat ne Pakistan ki dhamki se darne ki neeti ko chod diya. Yeh theek kiya na maine? Warna aaye din, ‘humare paas nuclear button hai, nuclear button hai’. Yehi kehte thhe? Humare akbaarwale bhi likthe thhe, Pakistan ke paas bhi nuclear hai. Toh humare paas kya hai, bhai, yeh Diwali ke liye rakha hai kya? (India has discarded the policy of being scared of Pakistan’s threats. I did right, didn’t I? Because every other day, they would say, ‘we have the nuclear button’. Isn’t that what they used to say? Our newspapers also wrote, ‘Pakistan, too, has a nuclear weapon’. So what do we have, is it kept for Diwali?).”
The poll panel did not find any violation of the MCC in his speech.
Complaint 4: PM Modi takes another swipe at Gandhi over Wayanad seat
Similar to his remark at the Wardha rally, PM Modi had yet again targetted Gandhi over his decision to contest from Wayanad in a speech from Maharashtra’s Nanded distritc, referring to the constituency as where the “country’s majority is in minority”.
He was given a clean chit by the poll panel later.
BJP chief Amit Shah
Amit Shah was given a clean chit by the poll panel in two cases.
Complaint 1: Shah’s Wayanad-Pak speech
The Congress filed a complaint with the EC after Shah, during a speech in Nagpur, likened Wayanad to Pakistan. The Commission’s decision favouring Shah, was taken by a 2-1 majority, the Indian Express had learnt.
Addressing the rally in Nagpur, from where Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is seeking re-election, Shah had said: “Aur yeh Rahul baba apne gathbandhan ke liye, Keral ke andar aisi seat par jaakar khade juloos nikalta hai toh Bharat hai ya Pakistan ka juloos hai. Maloom hi nahin padta, aisi jagah jaake khade hain.”
“(And this Rahul baba, for the sake of his alliance, has gone to such a seat in Kerala where when a procession is taken out, you cannot make out whether it is India or a Pakistan procession. You cannot make out, to such a seat he has gone).”
Shah said this in an apparent reference to a large number of Indian Union Muslim League flags (green in colour) seen during the procession when Gandhi filed his nomination papers from Wayanad on April 4.
“The matter has been examined in detail in accordance with the extant advisories, provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and after examination of complete transcript of speech of six pages sent by DEO (District Electoral Officer) Nagpur, Commission is of the view that in this matter no such violation of MCC or ECI’s instructions is made out,” states the EC’s reply to Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on the party’s complaint regarding Shah’s Nagpur speech.
Complaint 2: ‘Modi had sent IAF to destroy terror camps in Pakistan after Pulwama tragedy’
The other case in which Shah was cleared was his speech in West Bengal on April 22. The BJP president, while addressing a rally, had said that Modi had sent his Air Force to destroy terror camps in Pakistan after the Pulwama attack in February this year.