The Election Commission has taken cognizance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks asking first-time voters to dedicate their vote to those who carried out the air strike in Balakot and has sought a report from poll officials in Maharashtra.

Sources in the poll panel said Tuesday that the chief electoral officer of Maharashtra has been asked to submit a report at the earliest.

Addressing a rally in Ausa in Maharashtra’s Latur, Modi said, “Can your first vote be dedicated to those who carried out the air strike.”

He also asked the first-time voters to dedicate their votes to the slain CRPF jawans in the Pulwama terror attack.

“I want to tell the first-time voters: can your first vote be dedicated to the veer jawans (valiant soldiers) who carried out the air strike in Pakistan). Can your first vote be dedicated to the veer shaheed (brave martyrs) of Pulwama (terror attack),” PM Modi said.

The report has been sought in the context of an EC advisory issued last month asking parties to desist from indulging in political propaganda involving actions of the armed forces.

“…parties/candidates are advised that their campaigners/candidates should desist, as part of their election campaigning, from indulging in any political propaganda involving activities of defence forces,” the commission had said on March 19.

The CPI(M) has written to the Election Commission against PM Modi accusing him of violating the model code of conduct during his speech at the public meetings in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Following PM Modi’s statements, Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters in Delhi that there should be no politics in the name of our martyrs, but it is happening and the ‘sad part’ is that the Election Commission is also not doing anything about it.

The Congress earlier on Saturday had come down heavily on the Election Commission for letting go off Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with a light rap for his “Modiji ki sena” remark, adding that the Uttar Pradesh chief minister “insults” the Indian Army and the poll body writes a “love letter” to him.

On March 9, the EC had instructed all the political parties not to use defence personnel and their achievements for campaigning.