13 May 2019
New Delhi: 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 here 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.
"For Prime Minister relaxation was given that official and electioneering visit can be combined. So in that regard if (for) the same official 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 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 cultural significance of the place.
Answering another query, he said that a report has been sought over complaint that information allegedly sought by an officer of the Commerce Ministry Awas meant to be used for the BJP's manifesto.
He said it had been brought to the attention of 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."