The Election Commission claimed that it has found no violation of the poll code in Niti Aayog sharing data with the PM’s office on places where PM Narendra Modi was scheduled to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.
Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena stated that the poll body has disposed off the complaint as the PM is exempted from the provision that bars ministers from combining official visits with campaigning.
The exemption to the PM was given in October 2014.
"It was not a one-time exemption but a standing instruction," Saxena said.
Sources claimed that the Niti Aayog had not shared any political data but district-level data with the prime minister's office (PMO).
The Election Commission had written to Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on May 4th dwindling the accusations made by the Congress and the AAP.
Asking Kant to respond "immediately", the EC had referred to the allegations that the Niti Aayog has asked officers in different states and Union territories to provide to the PMO write-ups about destinations of the PM’s campaign.
The poll body 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 intended to be used for the BJP's manifesto. Saxena said the ministry has been approached to respond.