- PM Modi was appealing to first-time voters in Maharashtra's Latur
- Poll body seeks report from Maharashtra CEO over Pulwama, Balakot remarks
- Poll body had said the armed forces cannot be dragged into poll campaign
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to first-time voters citing the terror attack in Pulwama and the air strikes at Pakistan's Balakot, has drawn the attention of the Election Commission. The Commission has sought a report from the Chief Election Officer of Maharashtra, where the Prime Minister was speaking.
Last month, the Election Commission had said that the armed forces cannot be dragged into poll campaign after opposition complaints that the BJP was referring to the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot air strikes while canvassing for votes.
On Tuesday, while addressing a rally in Latur, the Prime Minister 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?"
In another reference to the February 14 air strikes, he added, "Eliminating terrorists in their homes is the policy of new India".
After the air strikes at a Jaish-e Mohammad terror camp at Pakistan's Balakot, the opposition had accused the BJP of trying to gain electoral benefits from the achievement of the Indian Air Force.
It also accused the BJP of projecting itself as the only party concerned about national security, while portraying opposition parties as "anti-national".
Last week, BJP veteran LK Advani said under the watch of the older generation, the party never had such a stance. "We have never regarded those who disagree with us politically as anti-national," he wrote in a blog.
On Tuesday, the Congress had also alleged that the Election Commission was not taking any action about its complaints of Model Code violation by the ruling party.
"We have given them (the Election Commission) so many complaints. They are not acting and we don't have the time to go to court since there is hardly any time," senior party leader Kapil Sibal told the media.