Political News, Nation, (New Delhi), April 18:-The Election Commission’s decision to suspend a high-ranking poll observer who attempted to check Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter during a poll rally in Odisha has sparked a fiery exchange between the Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP.
Questioning if the Prime Minister was trying to hide something, a tweet from AAP’s official Twitter handle said, “Suspension of the officer who checked PM’s helicopter. The #chowkidar lives in his own protected shell! Is the Chowkidar trying to hide something?”
The BJP was prompt to reply and said that the article attached in the AAP tweet clearly states that the officer did not act in conformity of the EC guidelines.
“EC guidelines say SPG protectees are exempted from such checking. Your leader and party have proved several times that common sense is not so common and this is yet another occasion,” the BJP replied.
The Election Commission’s suspension order stated that the poll observer, Karnataka cadre IAS officer Mohammed Mohsin, was suspended for “actions contrary to the instructions of the Commission concerning SPG protectees” on April 16 — the day SPG protectee Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Sambalpur to address an election rally.
A senior Odisha government official said that while the PM was addressing the rally, Mohsin approached the SPG stationed by the helicopter and requested a search. The search was allowed, but it delayed the PM’s departure by 20 minutes.
According to the ECI order, Mohsin’s suspension order was issued after reports from the Chief Electoral Officer (Odisha), District Election Officer (Sambalpur) and DIG (Sambalpur).
The EC order comes after a video, reportedly shot on Monday, showed Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan engaging in a heated argument with police officials who, sources said, were part of a flying squad in Odisha that had requested to check his luggage.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)