Prime Minister Narendra Modi today got two more clean chits by the Election Commission, this time for his remarks that Congress president "Rahul Gandhi has chosen a constituency where the majority is in minority" and "New India gave a befitting reply to Pakistan". The comments do not violate the Model Code of Conduct - a set of dos and don'ts for political parties and the government ahead of elections - the poll panel said.
Rahul Gandhi, for the first time, is contesting from two seats in the general elections - his constituency Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and Wayanad in Kerala.
The ruling BJP has accused Rahul Gandhi of running away from Amethi because he is not sure of winning from the constituency against Union Minister Smriti Irani.
Wayanad has a significant Muslim and Christian population.
"The Congress dynast went out with a microscope to look for a safe seat to contest and selected a seat where the majority is in minority," PM Modi had said at a rally in Maharashtra's Nanded on April 6.
The Congress chief is widely expected to win easily in this seat, which has voted the party since 2009. In this safe seat for the Congress, only the margin of victory will be important, say political analysts. Senior Congress leader MI Shanavas, who died last year, had been winning the seat ever since the constituency was carved out.
PM Modi had said at a rally in his constituency, Varanasi, on April 25 that a "New India gave a befitting reply to Pakistan". The Congress had filed complaints with the Election Commission against both the remarks alleging violation of the poll code.
Today's clean chits to the PM are the fourth and the fifth by the Election Commission in four days. Yesterday, the poll panel said PM Modi's comment that India too has nuclear weapons and does not care about Pakistan's threats does not violate the Model Code of Conduct.
The comments were condemned by the opposition, which said it was "boastful" and "irresponsible".
The Election Commission was asked by the Supreme Court on Thursday to expedite their decision on the pending complaints against PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. The court has given it time till Monday.
The Congress, whose appeal was being heard by the top court, has contended that altogether, 11 complaints are pending against the Prime Minister and Mr Shah.
The Commission has asked for time till Wednesday, saying it has its hands full with conducting the elections and complaints against other leaders, but the court refused a larger window.
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