New Delhi: Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has written to the Election Commission (EC) against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly violating the poll code by sharing operational details of a "sensitive" defence mission in a television interview to influence voters.
In his letter to the EC, Yechury has alleged Modi's statements were in clear and deliberate violation of the guidelines which were re-issued and reiterated by the EC before the first round of polling, making it clear that the armed forces, which belong to all of India, cannot be a subject for false claims by any party.
In an interview on Saturday, Modi had said he approved the Indian Air Force's cross-border mission in Balakot, Pakistan, despite inclement weather and against the advise of experts as he felt cloud cover would hide the Indian fighter jets from Pakistani radar. Modi said he relied on his "raw wisdom" to dispel the doubts of the defence experts who had planned the mission.
The CPI(M) General Secretary 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."
"It appears that Modi is mocking the EC 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," he said.
Yechury further said based on the poll body's recent decisions on BJP leaders and PM Modi making alleged poll code violations earlier, it was "widely perceived" that Modi was being treated as though he was outside the purview of the Model Code of Conduct.
Yechury further lashed out at Modi for continuing to use the armed forces in his speech. In an election rally in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, the PM 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 (Modi) claims that he killed the terrorists not our armed forces!" Yechury said.
The Left leader pointed out that similar "violations" have been brought to the notice of the EC earlier 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," he said.