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EC to decide today if PM Modi’s Mission Shakti speech violated poll code

The committee has held two meetings so far and also sought responses from Doordarshan and the All India Radio over the source of the feed. “We will try to complete investigation by tomorrow,” the Election Commission said.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 29, 2019 00:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lok Sabha elections 2019,EC,Mission Shakti
In this video grab taken from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official twitter handle, Modi announced the success of Mission Shakti, India’s anti-satellite missile capability, in New Delhi, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Mission Shakti, led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), was aimed at strengthening India's overall security, he said. (PTI)

The Election Commission (EC) is likely to take a final call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation announcing the success of Mission Shakti on Friday, after it examines the responses of public broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio on the recording of the speech.

The poll body said a committee was examining the speech of the prime minister, which some opposition parties claimed was aimed at gaining political mileage out of an achievement notched up by the country’s defence and space scientists, and was a violation of the model code of conduct in place ahead of the April-May general election.

People aware of the development said the two broadcast arms of Prasar Bharati had already submitted their responses.

“We will try to complete investigation by tomorrow,” an official of the Election Commission said on condition of anonymity.

Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena, who is in charge of the Model Code division and is heading the committee, told journalists that the EC was examining if it needed to seek a response from YouTube as it was the “platform for the feed.”

Another person aware of development said no response had, however, been sought from the Prime Minister’s Office.

On Wednesday, PM Modi, in a televised address, briefed the nation about India’s entry into an elite club of nations having the capability to hit a satellite in space. India became the fourth nation after the US, Russia and China to showcase capability to strike down a satellite in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

After opposition parties such as the Trinamool Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) complained that the address was a breach of the poll code, the poll body set up the committee to examine the issue. Earlier in the day, it said the PMO had neither consulted nor informed the EC about the address.

EC clears revised MNREGA wage rates

The Election Commission Thursday said it has approved a request of the Rural Development Ministry to revise the wages under the MGNREGA scheme from April 1.

The wages paid under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) are linked with the Consumer Price Index for agricultural labourers (CPI-AL) and new wage rates are notified on April 1, the beginning of the new financial year. The ministry had approached the EC for approval as the model code for the coming Lok Sabha polls is in force

Mission Shakti: Watch visuals of launch of India’s anti-satellite missile

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 19:46 IST