No poll code violation: PM Modi gets EC’s sixth clean chit for ‘qatal ki raat’ speech

Prime minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign for Lok Sabha polls, at Ramnagar in West Champaran. (PTI)

The Election Commission Saturday gave a sixth clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after it found his April 21 speech in Patan, Gujarat did not violate the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

On the last day of election campaigning for the third phase of elections, PM Modi had said that had Pakistan not returned Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman then it would have been a 'qatal ki raat' (night of slaughter). Referring to the Balakot airstrike, Modi had said Pakistan attempted to target Indian installations and deployed their aircraft but the IAF was swift to retaliate and destroyed one of their jets.

"Modi was ready with 12 missiles. It would have been a serious situation so it was good that Pakistan announced to return the Indian pilot else it would have been 'qatal ki raat'," PM Modi said.

Following the speech, the Congress and the CPI(M) had moved the EC for the "brazen" and "reckless invocation" of armed forces and the Balakot air strikes in his campaign speeches. The two opposition parties alleged that Narendra Modi misused the office of the Prime Minister for electoral reasons. They objected to the PM's speeches in Rajasthan's Barmer, where he said that India had not maintained a nuclear arsenal merely for Diwali, and in Gujarat's Patan, where he said that he had warned Pakistan of consequences if it did not return Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

"The brazen, reckless invocation of armed forces, armed action and then threats of nuclear war as something...on the basis for which a vote is sought... compromises the integrity of the electoral process..." the letter EC read.

On Friday, the Election Commission had also issued clean chit to the PM after it found that his speech in Maharashtra's Nanded on April 6 did not violate the MCC.