EC sets up panel to probe if PM Modi's speech on 'Mission Shakti' violated poll code

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 27 March 2019, 10:22 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File Photo)

The Election Commission on Wednesday set up a panel of officers to examine Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to nation on electronic media over of India's successful demonstration of anti-satellite missile capability.

The EC has directed a Committee of Officers to examine the matter immediately in the light of Model Code of Conduct.

Earlier in the day, several opposition parties mocked PM Modi, accusing him of indulging on threatrics and playing politics over scientists' achievements following his address to the nation announcing successful test of an anti-satellite missile, while some parties complained to the Election Commission alleging violation of the model code.

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Modi wishing him "happy World Theatre Day" even as he congratulated the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). "Well done DRDO, extremely proud of your work. I would also like to wish the PM a very happy World Theatre Day," he said on Twitter.

However, sources in the poll panel said that issues related to national security and disaster management do not fall under the ambit of the model code of conduct.

"The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had met. Decisions taken by it and issues such as disaster management do not fall under the model code of conduct and require no prior nod," a functionary said.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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 super powers.

"In the journey of every nation there are moments that bring utmost pride and have a historic impact on generations to come. One such moment is today," Modi said in an unprecedented broadcast to the nation on television, radio and social media.

His address came as campaigning intensifies for Lok Sabha elections that start on April 11.

Launching a counter attack, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the erstwhile UPA government of not granting scientists permission to build the country's own anti-satellite missile, saying it lacked "capability and clarity".

BJP chief Amit Shah too hit back at the opposition parties saying "the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile was successfully tested in space but it seems a few people on Earth have also got hurt" and alleged that the

"UPA did not have the courage to back its institutions and people", while the "NDA under PM Modi has shown the conviction to do so".

First Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 08:54 PM
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