71 retired IAS, IFS and IPS officers from across India have appealed to the citizens to join them in “reminding the Prime Minister of his oath to uphold Constitutional values”.
On 24 April, the former civil servants, as part of a collective known as Constitutional Conduct, published an open statement to “express (our) disbelief and dismay at the candidature of Pragya Thakur for the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat”.
The statement urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “take the lead in putting an end to the climate of fear and intimidation and communal viciousness that seems to be permeating the entire electoral process.”
The Quint spoke with three retired civil servants – Dr. NC Saxena, former secretary, Planning Commission; Deb Mukarji, former ambassador to Nepal and High Commissioner to Bangladesh; and Sundar Burra, former secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra – who signed the statement.
The letter calls to the BJP Party to withdraw the candidature of Pragya Thakur on grounds that she “has used the political platform she has been provided not just to propound her brand of bigotry, but also to insult the memory of Shri Hemant Karkare, the IPS officer who laid down his life in the fight against terror.”
The signatories include former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro and former DGP of Punjab Dr. NC Saxena, former secretary of Planning Commission.
Pragya Thakur has been nominated by the BJP from Bhopal Lok Sabha Constituency which is going to polls on 12 May in the sixth phase of the ongoing general elections . She is pitted against senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijay Singh.
PM Modi’s “Ironical” Stance on Terror
The statement points out a contradiction between PM Modi’s electoral plank of fighting terrorism and supporting a terror-accused
The civil servants appealed to the “Prime Minister of India to unequivocally condemn, through actions and statements, the existence of terror in any form.”
He cannot escape the irony of his party seeking votes in the name of fighting terrorism and at the same time endorsing the candidature of a person accused of terror crimes. Martyrdom cannot be selectively appropriated or given up for the pursuit of political ambition.Constitutional Conduct