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Pb CM moves poll panel, seeks action against PM for poll code 'breach'

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of violating the model code of conduct by referring to Balakot air strikes, Punjab Chief Minister Wednesday moved the Election Commission of India seeking action against him.

Amarinder Singh shot off a letter to the poll panel, seeking action against the prime minister.

Terming Modi's reported speech in Maharashtra, shockingly disgraceful, the chief minister said it was a clear case of violation of the code of conduct, which constitutes the bedrock of free and fair election.

Amarinder Singh also said the failure to check such instances suggested bias on the part of the Election Commission.

In his letter to CEC Sunil Arora, the chief minister strongly protested against the prime minister for allegedly using the success of the Balakot air strikes by the Indian Air Force and the sacrifice of the martyrs of the Pulwama attacks to woo the first-time voters.

That a person of the stature of the prime minister should indulge in such shameful acts makes a mockery of the democratic process of election and undermines the independence of the Election Commission as well as the armed forces, who have always prided themselves on their secular character, the chief minister wrote.

Amarinder Singh described as extremely unfortunate the fact that the prime minister was being allowed to engage in this kind of prejudicial behaviour, without the Election Commission taking any action to put a stop to such wilful violation of the code of conduct, for the past several weeks.

That the prime minister has been allowed to continuously and brazenly resort to such gimmickry to woo voters raises suspicions of bias on the part of the Election Commission, with the impression going out that the poll body is not coming down hard enough on those violating its own code, he said.

The chief minister pointed out that the ECI had asked political parties not to use photographs of defence personnel in its campaign.

Despite the EC directive, the PM, however, continues to malign the memories of the martyrs and exploit their sacrifices in a petty attempt to garner votes, said Amarinder Singh, lashing out at Modi and the Bhartiya Janata Party for using the Balakot air strikes and the martyrdom of the security forces to exploit the sentiments of the voters, particularly the new ones.

Their television campaign ads were also playing this theme with total disregard to the code of conduct, in utter contempt of the due process of election, he alleged.

The chief minister said if the prime minister was so concerned about the sacrifices of the security personnel, he should announce compensation of Rs 1 crore for the families of each of the martyrs instead of exploiting their martyrdom for promoting his vested interests.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 10 2019. 19:00 IST