EC: No violation in Niti Aayog sharing information with PM

Published: May 13, 2019, 10:33 IST | mid-day online desk

Officials said the Niti Aayog had not shared any political data but district-level data with the PMO

EC: No violation in Niti Aayog sharing information with PM
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The Election Commission said on Sunday that it has not found any model code violation in Niti Aayog sharing information with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on places where Prime Minister Narendra Modi decides to campaign.

Answering a query during a press conference, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said that a standing order had been issued in October 2014 which said that Prime Minister has been given relaxation. He added that the commission has disposed off the complaint as the prime minister is exempted from the provision that bars ministers from combining official visits with campaigning.

"For Prime Minister relaxation was given that official and electioneering visit can be combined. So in that regard, if (for) the same office visit if any information is called it is not a violation. It was sort of standing order, not one-time instruction," he said.

Saxena added that for other ministers cannot combine election visit with an official visit.

Officials said the Niti Aayog had not shared any political data but district-level data with the PMO.

Congress had moved the Election Commission against alleged misuse of the Prime Minister's Office to collect information about places, where Modi was to campaign.

The party had alleged that PMO was misusing Niti Aayog and asking it to write letters to the district administrations and seeking details such as the cultural significance of the place.

The EC also responded to a question on the Congress's fresh complaint against information allegedly sought by an officer of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade from the Commerce Ministry on Start Up India, claiming that it was meant to be used for BJP's manifesto.

He said it had been brought to the attention of the panel that some "email had been sent to officials to give some information for a particular purpose. A report has been called for and we are awaiting a report from the ministry."

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