Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday deplored the repeated mention of Balakot air strikes at election rallies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and questioned the Election Commission's "reluctance" to take cognisance of it.
The renowned psephologist, who was a founding member of the Aam Aadmi Party and upon expulsion floated a new outfit, Swaraj Abhiyan, was speaking at a meeting convened in support of CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, contesting from Bihar's Begusarai seat.
"Soon after the Balakot strikes, I had said that any self-respecting nation would like to come up with a response. So, let there be a response but the government must not try to cash in on it politically and let the opposition not criticise the regime on the matter of national security,” he said.
"But, unfortunately, the prime minister himself did not exhibit a sense of propriety," Yadav added. He said nobody would have held anything against Modi had he simply told the nation that the armed forces have carried out the operation in Balakot, and "we are proud of that".
"But he did not stop there. On the day air strikes were carried out, he was addressing a rally in Rajasthan with photographs of the martyrs of Pulwama attack adorning the background of the dais, and Modi proclaiming that the response was by virtue of his being in power.
"It is a dangerous thing to do. The people of the country should understand that whenever there have been attempts to use the valour of armed forces to score political points, the polity has degenerated into military rule. You need to look no farther than Pakistan to understand this trend," Yadav said.
Criticising the EC, he said it seems to be unmoved at the continuous mention of the Balakot strikes to seek votes. "Amid all these transgressions, I wonder what the Election Commission is doing.... In rally after rally, PM Modi is using the Balakot air strikes to seek votes. But, the EC seems to be totally unmoved," the academician-turned-politician said.