NEW DELHI – Prime Minister Narendra Modi is drawing sharp criticism and ridicule from opposition leaders for remarks he made on clouds and radar during a recent TV interview. CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury has said that Modi’s radar statement insults our air force as being ignorant and unprofessional.
Modi was speaking about the airstrike India conducted in Pakistan in February; he said the weather had been bad, and described how he had felt the clouds could help Indian jets escape radar detection. He acknowledged that he was not an expert.
Eventually, Modi said, the question of whether or not to change the date of the operation was settled — he decided to go ahead with it.
The Opposition wasted little time in attacking. “On PM Modi’s radar and clouds comment, it seems no one clarified for the PM how radars work,” said Salman Soz, a Congressman. “If that is the case, then it is a very serious national security issue. No laughing matter!”
His party, on the other hand, was in the mood to compose poetry.
Jumla hi fekta raha paanch saal ki sarkar mein,
Socha tha cloudy hai mausam,
Nahi aaunga radar mein. pic.twitter.com/xDeOg4Yq5K
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 12, 2019
“Pakistani radar doesn’t penetrate clouds,” said a sarcastic Omar Abdullah, vice-president of Jammu and Kashmir’s National Conference party. “This is an important piece of tactical information that will be critical when planning future airstrikes.”
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Modi’s words were “truly shameful” because they “insult our Air Force as being ignorant and unprofessional”.
National security is not something to be trifled with. Such an irresponsible statement from Modi is highly damaging. Somebody like this can’t remain India’s PM. https://t.co/wK992b1kuJ
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) May 11, 2019
The military escalation between India and Pakistan that followed the Balakot airstrike brought the two nations to the brink of war; the escalation took place after a suicide bombing claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammed killed dozens of Indian paramilitary soldiers in Kashmir on February 14.