A day after sources in the Election Commission (EC) said issues of national security do not fall under poll code ambit, the election body will on Thursday decide if Prime Minister Narendra Modi had violated the code of conduct by announcing successful test of India’s anti-satellite weapon.
The opposition had accused Prime Minister Modi of grossly violating the Model Code of Conduct by diverting nation’s attention from real issues ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
A spokesperson said that PM Modi’s address was brought to the notice of the EC and the Commission has directed a Committee of Officers to examine the matter immediately in the light of model code of conduct.
Reports said a transcript of the Prime Minister’s speech is being examined by the panel.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space superpowers.
“India has registered its name as a Space Power today. Only three countries – the US, Russia and China – had this capability. India is now the fourth country that has achieved this feat. There cannot be anything bigger than this matter of pride for all Indians,” the PM said in an address to the nation.
The PM said that an indigenously-built anti-satellite (ASAT) missile successfully destroyed a target satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) meaning that the country now has the ability to destroy any enemy satellite in space.
Called as Mission Shakti, the entire operation from the firing of the missile to the destruction of the target took just three minutes.
Though the message was clear to all of India’s adversaries, the PM assured the global community that the technology will not be used “against anyone”.
The PM’s message to the nation came at very short notice.
Following this, there emerged queries on whether PM Modi’s announcement of India’s successful demonstration of anti-satellite missile capability violated the poll code.
“The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had met. Decisions taken by it and issues such as disaster management do not fall under the model code of conduct and require no prior nod,” an EC functionary said.
The major announcement comes just days before the nation heads to polls for the 17th Lok Sabha.