EC to look into Modi’s Sabarimala remarks, Rahul’s jibe at PM

Bypolls in seven seats of six states
Bypolls will be held in Adampur of Haryana, Munugode of Telangana, Mokama and Gopalganj seats of Bihar, Andheri (East) of Maharashtra, Gola Gorakhnath of Uttar Pradesh and Dhamnagar of Odisha

The Election Commission Thursday said it has sought a report on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on the Sabarimala shrine and is examining another report on Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s “chowkidar chor hai” jibe against the PM.

Reports of Gandhi’s remarks at two media interactions are being examined by the poll panel, Deputy Election Commissioner Chandra Bhushan Kumar told reporters during a briefing on the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls, which was completed on Thursday.

He also said a report has been sought from district poll authorities on Modi’s remarks on the Sabarimala shrine at a rally in Theni in Tamil Nadu. During the rally, Modi had alleged that the Left and the Muslim League were playing a dangerous game on Sabarimala, and are initiating “to strike at the root of faith and aspiration.”

While the BJP had moved the EC on Gandhi’s remarks, the CPI (M) had written to the poll watchdog on the Prime Minister’s statement.


Responding to a question on the decision on Modi’s remarks on the Balakot airstrike and Pulwama terror attack, he said the Latur administration in Maharashtra had only sent one paragraph of the speech. Now the entire transcript has been received by the EC and is being examined, Kumar said.

In a rally in Ausa in Mahrashtra’s Latur district recently, Modi had said, “Can your first vote be dedicated to those who carried out the airstrike?” “I want to tell the first-time voters. Can your first vote be dedicated to the veer jawans (valiant soldiers) who carried out the air strike in Pakistan). Can your first vote be dedicated to the veer shaheed (brave martyrs) of Pulwama (terror attack),” he had said.

The report was sought in the context of an EC advisory issued last month asking parties to desist from indulging in political propaganda involving actions of the armed forces. “…parties/candidates are advised that their campaigners/candidates should desist, as part of their election campaigning, from indulging in any political propaganda involving activities of defence forces,” the commission had said on March 19.