Balakot air strikes: Narendra Modi flouted Election Commission curbs, says CPI(M)

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury says Mr. Modi’s behaviour and statements in a TV channel are in clear and deliberate violation of the guidelines.

May 12, 2019 06:42 pm | Updated 10:52 pm IST - New Delhi

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. File

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. File

The CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has written to the Election Commission alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview to a TV news channel, gave out operational details of the Balakot air strikes to influence voters.

“This interview wherein Mr. Modi gave out the operational details of a sensitive military mission, with a purpose to influence the voters during the silent period of the campaign needs to be recorded and acted upon by the Commission,” he said.

Mr. Yechury said, “His behaviour and statements are in clear and deliberate violation of the guidelines which were reissued and reiterated by the Election Commission before the first round of polling, which made it clear that the armed forces which belong to all of India, cannot be a subject for hyperbolic and false claims by any party for garnering votes.”

In the interview, Mr. Modi had said that initially there was some doubt on going ahead of the Balakot strike due to bad weather. He said in his “raw wisdom” he thought that the cloud and rains would help evade the radar (Pakistani) and therefore, despite a cloudy weather, he gave a go ahead.

“In an interview aired on News Nation Channel on the eve of polling for the sixth phase, Mr. Modi made an outrageous claim. He said that he approved the cross-border mission of the Indian Air Force despite bad weather and against professional expert advise, because the clouds

would hide Indian fighter jets from Pakistani radars,” said Mr. Yechury.

Mr. Yechury said it appears that Mr. Modi was mocking the Commission “by violating all rules, codes and guidelines with impunity with damaging consequences for our democracy, of which the Election Commission is the custodian”.

“Further news of Mr. Modi using the armed forces to seek votes and mocking the Election Commission comes, this time from an election rally in Kushinagar on May 12. Mr. Modi is reported to have said, ‘Today terrorists were killed by our Army in Kashmir. Now some

people are worried as to why did Modi kill the terrorists when voting is under way? armed terrorist is attacking, do my jawans go to the Election Commission to seek permission to kill him?.”

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