New Delhi, May 20: In a major development, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said it would re-examine the clearance given to Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and NITI Aayog for alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during the Lok Sabha elections 2019. According to sources familiar with the development, the Commission had dismissed a Congress complaint in the last week that alleged that the PMO misused NITI Aayog for getting details on Gondia, Wardha and Latur Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit. PM Narendra Modi Gets Clean Chit From Election Commission; No Violation of Model Code of Conduct in Wardha Speech, Says EC.
Reports inform that the decision comes after Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra felt the that Congress' complaint was without basis, as the exemption had been granted to the Prime Minister to combine an official and electioneering visit.
According to a report by IANS, the EC had also cleared the PMO and NITI Aayog despite Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa suggested that the matter should be taken to CEO Amitabh Kant to know about whether any such information was sought. The report further adds that the EC had sought comments from Kant on the matter earlier, but he denied any wrongdoing. After Lavasa's dissent, the EC sent a second notice to Kant on Thursday. However, the NITI Aayog CEO has not been given any deadline to file a response. Clean Chit to PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa Opts Out of EC Meetings.
Lavasa had opposed five clearances that the poll panel gave to Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah in complaints of Model Code of Conduct violations. In the last week, Lavasa recused himself from the EC’s meetings on deciding violations of the poll code. He said his "minority decisions were going unrecorded".