Prime minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign for Lok Sabha polls, in Pratapgarh (Source: PTI)

Lok Sabha Election 2019: Modi Gets Another Clean Chit From Election Commission On Patan Speech

The Election Commission on Saturday gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Gujarat speech in which he had claimed that the Indian government had kept Pakistan on its toes to ensure the safe return of its pilot.

This is the sixth clean chit to Modi by the poll watchdog. Sources said the decision on the April 21 Patan speech was unanimous.

One of the election commissioners, according to the sources, gave a dissenting view in the election commission’s decision to give a clean chit to Modi with regard to his speech at Wardha on April 1, where he attacked Congress President Rahul Gandhi for contesting from the minority-dominated Wayanad seat in Kerala. He had also appealed to first-time voters by invoking the Balakot airstrike and the Central Reserve Police Force jawans killed in the Pulwama terror attack on April 9.

He had also reportedly given dissent in the clean chit to Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah for his Nagpur speech in which he had reportedly said that Wayand constituency of Kerala is where “majority is minority”.

Also read: Election 2019: Election Commission Gives Clean Chit To Modi On Two More Speeches

In its Saturday’s decision, the election commission said, “...detailed report of the chief electoral officer, Gujarat was obtained. The matter has been examined in detail in accordance with the extant advisories, provisions of the model code of conduct. After examination, commission is of the view that in this matter no such violation of the extant advisories/provisions is attracted.”

In his Patan speech, Modi had reportedly said that he had warned Pakistan of “consequences” if it did not return Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured after an aerial dogfight with Pakistani F-16s that had violated Indian airspace and targeted military installations in February.

Pakistan released Varthaman on the night of March 1. Modi also spoke of a U.S. claim that India had kept 12 missiles ready.

So far, the election commission has cleared six speeches of Modi, two of Shah and one of Rahul Gandhi.

Gandhi had been issued a show cause notice for his Madhya Pradesh speech in which he had reportedly said that the government enacted a new law which allows tribals to be shot.

On March 19, the poll watchdog had issued an advisory asking parties not to invoke armed forces in their political campaign.

Also read: Election 2019: Election Commission Gives Clean Chit To Rahul Gandhi Over Poll Speech Against Amit Shah