Indian election commission seeks report on Modi's reference to armed forces in political speechWorld
The Indian Election Commission has sought a report on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks at a rally in Maharashtra yesterday asking first-time voters to dedicate their ballots to the armed forces Times of India reported on Wednesday.
"I want to tell the first-time voters: can your first vote be dedicated to the soldiers [who carried out the air strike in Pakistan? Can your first vote be dedicated to the soldiers [killed in] Pulwama?" Modi was quoted as saying.
Last month, the election commission had issued an advisory asking political parties and candidates to refrain from "indulging in political propaganda involving activities of defence forces" related to Pak-India tensions following the Pulwama attack during their election campaigns, ToI reported.
Hindustan Times quoted sources in the poll panel as saying that that the chief electoral officer of Maharashtra has been asked to submit a report on the matter at the earliest.
India’s Election Commission has announced that the upcoming national election will be held in seven phases in April and May, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party seeks a second term.
About 900 million people are eligible to vote in a staggered process that allows the government to deploy tens of thousands of troops to prevent outbreaks of violence and the capture of voting stations by party activists.
The election will be held April 11, 18, 23 and 29, and May 6, 12 and 19. The votes will be counted May 23.
Modi’s Bhartiya Janata Party, or BJP, hopes the government’s recent tough stand against Pakistan will help it retain its popularity despite suffering a setback in December when it lost three key state elections to the opposition Congress party.