'No plaint about Modi citing Army strikes in campaign'

'No plaint about Modi citing Army strikes in campaign'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI file photo

The Election Commission on Thursday said that it had not received any complaint about Prime Minister Narendra Modi referring to Indian Army and the air strikes on a terror camp in Pakistan while addressing poll rallies across the country.

Sandeep Saxena and Chandra Bhushan – both Deputy Election Commissioners at the EC – told journalists that the poll panel had not received any report or complaint in this regard.

Modi has been slamming the Congress and other opposition parties, accusing them of questioning the credibility of the Indian Army after the 2016 “surgical strike” on terror camps across India-Pakistan border and the recent air strike on Balakot terror camp.

“The wound has been inflicted there (in Pakistan). Why do you (opposition parties) feel the pain? The Didi (West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee) in Kolkata felt more pain than it was felt in Islamabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi (in Pakistan),” Modi had said while addressing an election rally in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Prime Minister had also criticised the Congress for promising to review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or the AFSPA. He had accused the principal opposition party of trying to remove the shield of the armymen. 

The EC on March 9 re-issued its December 4, 2013 advisory, calling upon the political parties “to desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel or photographs of functions involving defence personnel in their election propaganda or campaigning”.

Another advisory

“Political 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 EC stated in another advisory on March 19.

Saxena and Bhushan on Thursday said that the EC was taking violation of its advisories very strictly. They cited the notice the poll panel served on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for referring to Indian Army as “Modi Ki Sena” at a rally at Ghaziabad.

The EC also sought a report from the Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra on the purported remark by Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar that he would jail the “Election Commissioner” if voted to power.