No red flag from EC, PM to address country with ‘Mann ki Baat’

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 21, 2015 20:41 IST
Students listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Mann Ki Baat' programme at Government Senior Secondary School, Ladowali on Friday. (Pardeep Pandit/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the country this Sunday with a fresh episode of ‘Mann ki Baat’ as the Election Commission is said to have not red-flagged its broadcast in the wake of model code of conduct imposed in Bihar. Sources in the EC on Wednesday said that as of now there was no “black and white” order issued to information and broadcasting ministry on the broadcast of Prime Minister’s radio programme.

It has not found any violation of model code in Modi’s previous episode of the programme in September, they said. The sources, however, said that the Prime Minister should avoid referring to the Bihar elections or make political statements in the programme as the state is going through Assembly polls and it would be a violation of the model code.

The Election Commission had in September given the go-ahead to the airing of Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme on September 20 provided nothing is said that may be construed as inducement to voters or having an impact on poll-bound Bihar where model code of conduct is in force.

Representatives of the ‘grand alliance,’ including RJD and JD(U), had approached the EC seeking suspension of the programme till Bihar polls were in progress, raising doubts that it might be used it to influence voters. The programme was aired even during Haryana, Maharashtra and Delhi Assembly polls. The Congress had accused the PM of violating the model code in his October 3, 2014 episode. But the Commission “did not find anything” in the broadcast which constituted violation of the model code of conduct.

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