No ban on PM Modi's 'Mann ki Baat' programme: Election CommissionNew Delhi: Election Commission today decided not to put ban on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'. The programme is scheduled to be aired on September 20 before PM Modi departs
New Delhi: Election Commission today decided not to put ban on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'. The programme is scheduled to be aired on September 20 before PM Modi departs for USA.
According to the sources, Information and Broadcasting Ministry had asked for a clarification from the Election commission on whether to air the programme in wake of the Bihar Assembly polls.
The Election Commission in its reply has said that the programme can be aired but there shall be no mechanism to try and influence the voters in Bihar as the model code of conduct is in place for the assembly polls.
The JDU led grand alliance earlier approached the Election Commission seeking suspension of PM's hugely popular 'Mann Ki Baat' programme till Bihar polls are over, raising doubts he might use it to influence voters, but the poll panel indicated a "blanket ban" cannot be imposed.
A delegation of the three-party alliance comprising JD(U), RJD and Congress met the Election Commission with the plea to stop broadcast of Modi's monthly radio programme.
“...the Commission has no objection to the broadcast of the programme ‘Mann ki Baat' over All India Radio on September 20, 2015 and the pre-broadcast publicity through different channels of AIR and Doordarshan subject to the condition that nothing be said therein that may be construed as inducement to voters or as having any impact in election-bound state of Bihar where the Model Code of Conduct is in force from September 9 to November 12, 2015,” EC's Principal Secretary K Ajaya Kumar said in the order addressed to I and B Ministry Special Secretary J S Mathur.
The Commission has thus rejected a demand made by anti-BJP grand alliance that the PM's programme be suspended till the elections in Bihar are over.
Representatives of the ‘grand alliance,' including RJD and JD(U), had on Wednesday approached the Election Commission seeking suspension of the programme till Bihar polls are over, raising doubts that it might be used it to influence voters.
A delegation of the three-party alliance also including Congress, met the Election Commission with the plea to stop broadcast of the Prime Minister's monthly radio programme. “Permitting the Prime Minister to organise the Mann Ki Baat programme would be giving a completely unfair advantage to BJP and will upset the level-playing field essential to uphold the neutrality and majesty of the electoral process,” it had said in its petition.
The programme was aired even during Haryana, Maharashtra and Delhi assembly polls. Congress had accused the PM of violating the model code in his October 3, 2014 episode. But the Commission “did not find anything” in the broadcast which constituted violation of the model code of conduct.
( With Inputs from PTI)