Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, SY Quraishi, has lashed out at the Election Commission for choosing to look the other way when it came to acting against the repeated violations of the Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In an extraordinary note, Quraishi also termed the suspension of the IAS officer, who dared to check Modi’s helicopter, ‘unfortunate.’ He wrote, “The suspension of an IAS officer who was posted as election observer in Odisha for checking the helicopter in which Prime Minister Modi had travelled is not only unfortunate but a great missed opportunity to restore not only the image of the EC but also the PM himself. Both these institutions have been under the public scanner especially the PM for repeatedly violating the model code and EC repeatedly overlooking it.”
Quraishi, who headed the national poll body between July 2010 and June 2012, said that the ‘raid’ on PM’s chopper should have been used to demonstrate that ‘the law is equal for everybody.’ “In one stroke, the intense criticism against them both would have come crumbling down. Unfortunately, they both chose a different course. The already ongoing criticism would now get magnified many times over,” he observed.
The former CEC, however, appeared full of praise for Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his ‘dignified conduct.’ He wrote, “In contrast, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, because of his extremely dignified conduct during a similar raid on his chopper, in front of his eyes, has come out with his stature enhanced. This is the statesmanlike conduct we need from our leaders. Salute Mr Patnaik!”
PM’s chopper raid incident is a great opportunity missed ! Please see my views. pic.twitter.com/VqOjSVwfmK
— Dr. S.Y. Quraishi (@DrSYQuraishi) April 18, 2019
Modi has repeatedly violated the Model Code of Conduct during the election campaign in this year’s Lok Sabha polls. His official helicopter was even suspected to be carrying a large trunk with alleged black money. But, instead of acting tough against him, the Election Commission suspended the IAS officer, Mohammed Mohsin, for his courageous act to check Modi’s helicopter. The provision cited to justify Mohsin’s suspension was non-existent.