Did PM Modi violate Model Code of Conduct?

The MCC dictates that the government must not announce or begin new projects once the Election Commission announces the polling schedule up to the last date of voting. Did Prime Minister Narendra Modi violate this code?

Surajit Dasgupta
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Kanyakumari — meditating for 3 days on the same spot where Swami Vivekananda had meditated a century ago.

We can’t say how the visuals of a meditating Prime Minister Modi will play out in the minds of voters. Mind you, one round of the election is still left.

But then, the prime minister has been visiting temples across the last five years of his second term.

Now that the model code of conduct is in place until the last vote is cast on 1 June, let’s go through things the prime minister has done since the day the ECI announced the schedule for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

Complaints against Prime Minister Modi

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on 29 May the Trinamool Congress would complain to the Election Commission against PM Modi’s meditation in Kanyakumari.

Congress alleged similarly that the prime minister was trying to “circumvent” the mandatory 48-hour period of silence before election days with the silent visuals of his Kanyakumari tour.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM or CPI(M)] has asked for a ban on media coverage of this event.

But the EC has said there is no bar under electoral law on what the prime minister is doing. So, let’s move to other things the PM has done in the duration that the MCC applies.

On 16 March after the ECI announcement, Prime Minister Modi wrote a message highlighting his government’s programmes to all voters.

It was a widely circulated WhatsApp message under the government’s “Viksit Bharat Sampark” ads.

After the election schedule was announced, Prime Minister Modi was received in Palnadu of Andhra Pradesh with the backdrop of an IAF helicopter. 

On 14 May, the Trinamool Congress accused the BJP of making “false, unverified, malicious allegations and stoking communal disharmony to appeal for votes on religious grounds”.

Prime Minister Modi said in Varanasi before the second-last round of voting that he was not merely a biological son of his mother. He was born for a greater purpose.

The opposition twisted this to say Modi was claiming he was God!

Amidst the debate over violations of the model code of conduct, the MCC is going to be lifted at 5 PM on 1 June.

Some media quarters have complained that the ECI issued fewer notices to the BJP than it did to the opposition. Is that true?

Let the voter decide.

CPM Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee Congress Narendra Modi BJP