Modi’s ‘clouds and radar’ comment gets top military officers’ backing
Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat and Western Air Command chief Air Marshal R. Nambiar have come to the defence of Narendra Modi’s understanding of radar technology. Modi had said in an interview during the Lok Sabha election campaign that Indian fighter jets could escape Pakistani radars due to clouds and rain — a comment that had been widely panned as ‘unscientific’.
But speaking to the media on the sidelines of a defence event in Kerala Monday, Gen. Rawat, who will retire at the end of this year, said there are various kinds of radars that work on different technologies.
“Some have the capacity to see through (the clouds), some don’t have the capacity to see through,” he said.
The next day, Air Marshal Nambiar, who is in contention to be the next IAF chief, also defended Modi’s comments: “That is true up to some effect… That very strong clouds and very strong convective conditions in clouds prevent the radar from detecting very accurately.”
These remarks have got Air Force and Army officials smiling. One officer cheekily pointed out that Rawat’s predecessor Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag, who retired in 2016, was last month appointed India’s ambassador to Seychelles by the Modi government.
President’s press secretary might have something better coming his way
The two-year tenure of Ashok Malik as press secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind is getting over on 31 July. The grapevine has it that he is not inclined to seek an extension. A former journalist who was batting for Narendra Modi long before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Malik agreed to become the Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesman, though many had expected him to get a better reward. With Modi getting a second term, Malik may have something better coming his way. With the President being the titular Head of State, there isn’t much to write about his press secretary.
Jagan Mohan Reddy avoiding Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu?
Days after winning a decisive mandate to rule Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress Party chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy met Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi at his residence Sunday to demand special status for his state. Jagan also later met BJP president Amit Shah and general secretary Ram Madhav separately.
Curiously, however, despite being in the capital and visiting these leaders, Jagan did not call on Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, a fellow Telugu. This set tongues wagging in political circles about the Andhra CM-designate deliberately avoiding Naidu, who in his earlier avatar as a politician was known to be pro-Chandrababu Naidu, leader of the TDP and Jagan’s main rival.
Venkaiah Naidu, being a senior BJP leader from Andhra Pradesh, would often advise his party to go soft on Chandrababu Naidu.
(Contributors: Snehesh Alex Philip and Ruhi Tewari)