Modi's 'cloud cover' revelation draws opposition sneer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment suggesting that cloud cover could prevent Pakistani radars from detecting Indian fighter planes during the Balakot airstrikes triggered a political firestorm and widespread ridicule on social media.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment suggesting that cloud cover could prevent Pakistani radars from detecting Indian fighter planes during the Balakot airstrikes triggered a political firestorm and widespread ridicule on social media.

Opposition leaders sneered at Modi's, with former J&K chief minister Mehboob Mufti describing it as “painfully embarrassing” and CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury accusing the Prime Minister of compromising national security.

In an interview to a television channel, Modi had said he had used his “raw wisdom” to clear the doubts raised by defence experts who wanted to defer the Balakot airstrikes due to bad weather. “However, I suggested that the clouds can actually help our planes escape the radars,” Modi told the interviewers.

“The greatest military strategist of all time Shri Narendra Modi suggesting to his army “cloud cover hai, radar se Bach jayenge (there is cloud cover, we will dodge the radar)”, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said.

“Pakistani radar doesn't penetrate clouds. This is an important piece of tactical information that will be critical when planning future airstrikes,” said a sarcastic Omar Abdullah, former J&K chief minister.

“No secret that Balakot strikes failed to hit the intended target. Was it because PM overruled the advice of IAF & authorised airstrikes in bad weather,” PDP President Mehbooba Mufti asked in a tweet.

Mehbooba said the BJP's ability to “suspend logic” in its quest to win another term is “mind-numbingly fatuous”, adding that the armed forces do not deserve this.

The BJP tweeted Modi's comments in the interview from its official Twitter handle, but the same were deleted. However, a five-minute video where in Modi spelt out the details of the Balakot airstrikes remained on the BJP's official Twitter handle.

“Someone please tell him that radar is different from binoculars. Let’s wait till 23 May, Modi won’t be able to see BJP’s majority either with binoculars or with microscope. He would then need a radar to figure out where to escape from Delhi,” CPM leader Mohammad Salim said.

However, Yechury took objection to Modi giving out details of the Balakot airstrikes in a media interview.

“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,” Yechury said and also moved the Election Commission against the Prime Minister.

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