Vol. XLIII No. 20 May 19, 2019

Initiate Action against the PM

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has written a letter to the chief election commissioner Sunil Arora on May 12, 2019, seeking initiation of action against the prime minister, Narendra Modi for making outrageous claims with regard to the Balakot air strikes. Below we publish the full text of the letter.

I am compelled to write to you, once again, on a matter of grave importance for our democracy, of which free and fair elections form the very basis. The Election Commission is tasked with conduct of free and fair elections, by implementing the model code of conduct and 
strictly enforcing the guidelines it has issued periodically. This was reiterated by the Supreme Court when it asked the Election Commission to take prompt and strict action against flagrant violators.

However, the commission’s recent decisions on BJP leader and outgoing prime minister, Narendra Modi for such violations are widely perceived as though he is being treated to be outside the purview of the model code of conduct and guidelines. It thus becomes our bounden duty to register our protest against further brazen violations.

In an interview aired on News Nation Channel on the eve of polling for  the sixth phase, 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. In this interview to News Nation, Modi said that he used his “raw wisdom” to dispel the doubts of defence experts who planned mission. “I am surprised that the country’s pundits who abuse me never figured this out,” he said.

This interview wherein Modi gave out 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. 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.

It appears that Modi is mocking the Election Commission by violating all rules, codes and guidelines with impunity with damaging consequences for our democracy, of which the Election Commission is the custodian. We hope that you will uphold the prestige, honour and credibility of the Election Commission and initiate action against Modi.

Further news of 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, 2019. 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 underway? An armed terrorist is attacking, do my jawans go to the Election Commission to seek permission to kill him?” Note: He claims that he killed the terrorists not our armed forces!

We have brought similar incidents of his violations to your notice earlier in the past too. The commission, however, seems to think that Modi and Amit Shah are above the electoral process and the model code of conduct does not apply to them. This has been noted by myriad cartoonists, newspaper editorials and commentators. I hope that the Election Commission will now prove them wrong and initiate prompt and suitable action against Modi.