PM chopper raid: Former CEC SY Quraishi slams EC over IAS officer’s suspension

Coming down hard on the Election Commission for suspending the official posted as the election observer who checked the chopper in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was travelling, former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi on Friday termed the incident as unfortunate and said that the poll panel as well the PM missed the opportunity to restore their image. Both these institutions have been under the public scanner – the PM for repeatedly violating the model code of conduct and EC repeatedly overlooking it, Quraishi said in a strongly worded statement issued earlier today. The former CEC said that instead of using the raid at the PMs chopper to convey to the people that the law was equal for all, the different course chosen will only end up magnifying the ongoing criticism manifold. The raid on the PMs 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, Quraishis statement read. PM Narendra Modi was visiting Sambalpur in Odisha on April 16 for an election meeting when his chopper was searched by the concerned officer Mohammed Mohsin. The search had led to a delay of 20 minutes in the PMs schedule. ON Thursday, it was reported that the officer had been suspended for dereliction of duty with regard to SPG protectees. Quraishi, in his statement, sought to draw a contrast between the incident involving the PM and another similar one involving Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. A video of Patanik being subjected to a similar search also went viral a few days ago. Referring to the incident, Quraishi commended Patnaiks conduct during the raid in his presence and said it has emboldened his image. 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!