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No Mann ki Baat for 2 months, will be back in May: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday suspended his monthly Mann ki Baat broadcast for March and April, and said he will be back with the programme on the last Sunday of May, by when results of the Lok Sabha elections are expected to be declared.

In this monthly address through the radio broadcast – the 53rd since Modi came to power in 2014 – he said he was doing so keeping in mind healthy democratic traditions.

"Elections are the biggest celebration of democracy. In the next two months, we will be busy in the hurly-burly of the general elections. I myself will also be a candidate. Respecting healthy democratic traditions, the next episode of Mann ki Baat will be broadcast on the last Sunday (May 26) of May," Modi said.

In an apparent reference to the killing of Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists, who the Army said were masterminds of the Pulwama attack, in an encounter, he said "retributive action was accomplished" within 100 hours of the incident.

He also mentioned responses of families of deceased CRPF men and said that the story of every family of martyrs is full of inspiration.

Paying tributes to security forces, Modi said he will dedicate the National War Memorial to them on Monday and added that not having such a memorial always pained and surprised him.

Opposition parties have in the past demanded stopping the broadcast of Mann ki Baat during elections, saying it violated the model code of conduct as the interaction amounted to the misuse of the prime minister's programme for political purposes.

Sounding confident of his return to power, he said he will begin the series of conversations under the programme from May with the "power of your blessings" and will keep speaking to people through Mann ki Baat for years.

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