PM Narendra Modi's Mann Ki Baat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on radio programme 'Mann ki Baat'. [File Picture]

Even before the Congress approached the Election Commission seeking to stop the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's radio programme Mann Ki Baat, the poll body on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of a blanket ban saying it does not violate the model code of conduct that is in force in Bihar in view of the assembly polls starting next month.

"No blanket ban can be enforced on things like Cabinet meeting and Mann Ki Baat but the EC can take cognizance if the Cabinet decision or the content of programme is in violation of the Model Code of Conduct," PTI quoted an EC official as saying.

Clarifying that the poll body was not approached by any political party with demands to ban Modi's radio programme, the official said that he was making a "matter of fact" statement. 

He added that if they are approached with such a demand, the Election Commission will take action only after verifying the content of the episode. If the recordings and transcript of Modi's radio programme does not violate the model code of conduct, they could not ban it from airing, the official added.

The five-phased Bihar Assembly polls will begin 12 October and will conclude 6 November. The results of the elections will be declared on 8 November.

When the model code of conduct is in force, the telecast or broadcast by political parties on Doordarshan or All India Radio can only be done as per the slot allotted to them by a draw of lots conducted by Prasar Bharti in consultation with the EC, IANS reported.

Owing to upcoming elections, the BJP rivals--Congress, JDU and RJD--decided to approach the Election Commission seeking a ban on Modi's radio programme until Bihar Assembly polls get over.

Modi's 12th episode of Mann Ki Baat is scheduled to be aired on Sunday. Modi had on Tuesday urged people to record messages in either Hindi or English for "Mann ki Baat" on the toll-free number 1800 3000 7800, IANS reported.

The prime minister shares his thoughts and listens to the grievances of the public on the radio programme every month. His initiative to interact with people started on 3 October, 2014.

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