File pic of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh
File pic of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh

Amarinder says PM Modi violating poll code by talking about Balakot air strikes

Updated: Apr 10, 2019 17:27 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 10 : Punjab Chief Amarinder Singh on Wednesday filed a complaint before the Election Commission of India against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for violating the Model Code of Conduct by invoking the success of recent air strikes by Indian Air Force.
"Despite the EC directive, the Prime Minister continues to malign the memories of martyrs and exploit their sacrifices in a petty attempt to garner votes," said Singh in the letter to Election Commission.
"Mr Modi and his BJP have been audaciously using the Balakot air strikes and the martyrdom of the security forces to exploit the sentiments of the voters, particularly the new ones, as done by the Prime Minister in his Maharashtra speech. Then television campaign ads are also playing this theme with total disregard to the code of conduct, in utter contempt of the due process of election."
Singh said this is not only shockingly disgraceful but a clear case of violation of the Model Code of Conduct, which constitutes the bedrock of free and fair election.
"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 EC as well as the armed forces, who have always prided themselves on their secular character." 
Modi, who had addressed a rally in Maharashtra on Tuesday, said: "I want to ask my first-time voters, can your first vote be dedicated to the soldiers who conducted the Balakot air strikes? Can your first vote be in the name of the martyrs who lost their lives in Pulwama."

Singh said if the Prime Minister is so concerned about the sacrifices of the security personnel, then he should announce a compensation of Rs 1 crore for each family of the martyrs. 
The chief minister called for intervention of the Election Commission to end such gross violations, adding that fair play and electoral propriety demand that action be taken without further delay in the larger interest of the nation's democratic polity and to uphold secular credentials of the security forces.