Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks asking first-time voters to dedicate their vote to those who carried out the Balakot air strike continue to be under the examination of the Election Commission to ascertain whether they violate its directive to political parties against using the armed forces in their campaign, sources said Friday. The Commission is understood to have sought certain details from poll authorities in Maharashtra in this regard.
Local poll authorities are learnt to have told the EC here that Modi’s remarks are prima facie violative of its orders on armed forces. Addressing a rally in Ausa in Maharashtra’s Latur on April 9, Modi said, “Can your first vote be dedicated to those who carried out the air strike.” “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),” Modi said.
The EC had sought the report in the context of an advisory issued last month asking parties to desist from indulging in political propaganda involving actions of the armed forces. “…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 on March 19.