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EC okay with PM visit to Himalayan shrines

The Election Commission is learnt to have given its nod to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines in Uttarakhand beginning Saturday while "reminding" the prime minister's office that the model code of conduct is still in force.

The prime minister's office is learnt to have sought the views of the Election Commission on the two-day official visit of Modi to Uttarakhand.

As it is an official visit, the Commission has only "reminded" the PMO that the model code of conduct which came into force on March 10 with the declaration of Lok Sabha polls, is still in force, sources aware of the development said.

The last and seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls is on May 19.

"The visit is official so it can be undertaken. But the office of the PM has been reminded that the poll code is still in force," a source said without elaborating.

Modi will undertake a two-day visit to Uttarakhand beginning May 18. While he will be in Kedarnath Saturday, he will visit Badrinath on Sunday before returning to the national capital in the afternoon.