NEW DELHI (IANS) — CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has urged the Election Commission to act against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “constantly flouting” guidelines that matters of national security should not be used as fodder for election speeches.
“We see that the Prime Minister is constantly flouting those guidelines and violating principles which have been laid down as ground rules for all political parties and leaders to follow,” Yechury said in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.
“We believe that you have taken cognisance of his speeches in Latur where he called for a vote in the name of Pulwama martyrs, although the details of disciplinary action taken against him are still awaited.
“Moreover, we are yet to hear on when he would be asked to refrain from insulting the Commission’s guidelines, vitiating the electoral process and, therefore, our democratic exercise.”
Yechury pointed out that the Election Commission had issued clear guidelines on how matters of national security and actions of the Indian armed forces should not be used as fodder for election speeches by the ruling party.
The CPI-M leader pointed out that on April 21, on the last day of election campaigning in Gujarat, Modi said had Pakistan not returned the Indian Air Force pilot, it would have been a ‘qatal ki raat’ (night of slaughter).
“Modi has been irresponsible and callous in going to the extent of calling for use of nuclear weapons,” he said.
At an election rally in Barmer on Sunday, Modi said: “India has stopped the policy of getting scared of Pakistan’s threats. Every other day they used to say ‘we have nuclear button, we have nuclear button’. What do we have then? Have we kept it for Diwali?”
Yechury wrote: “The brazen, reckless invocation of armed forces, armed action and then threats of nuclear war, as something that is a partisan political act he would push for and something on the basis for which a vote is sought, in our opinion, even further compromises the integrity of the electoral process as laid out by the Election Commission.
“Allowing the Prime Minister, a candidate in Varanasi and the star campaigner for the ruling BJP, to constantly seek to appropriate the valour of the armed forces and seek votes directly violates the Model Code of Conduct and misusing his office of Prime Minister, for electoral reasons.
“We urge you to use your good offices and put a stop to this impunity. We urge you to act so the sanctity of guidelines laid out by you is preserved and the entire election process truly remains a level-playing field for all parties and candidates.”