Former Indian Navy Chief Admiral L Ramdas has shot off a protest letter to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, against the remark ‘Modi ji ki sena’ (Modi’s Army) made by Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, referring to the Indian Army, at an election rally on Sunday.
Addressing a rally in Ghaziabad on Sunday, Adityanath referred to the Indian Army as “Modi ji ki sena”, which triggered a political storm with sharp reactions from the opposition. While campaigning for sitting MP and Union Minister VK Singh in Ghaziabad, CM Adityanath said: “Congress ke log aatank-wadiyon ko biryani khilate the aur Modi ji ki sena aatankwadiyon ko goli aur gola deti hai (Congress leaders would feed biryani to terrorists, while Modi’s army gives them bullets and bombs).”
According to his letter, Admiral Ramdas had expressed concerns three weeks ago about the growing ‘politicisation of the armed forces by political parties’. The Election Commission (EC), too, had issued guidelines advising political parties to refrain from using images of armed forces in their campaigning for the forthcoming general elections.
Also read: EC Urged to Stop Parties From Politicising Armed Forces
In his letter to the EC, Admiral Ramdas has said, “This was exactly the kind of development I was fearing when I wrote to you last month,” adding, “as one of the seniormost former Chiefs of the Armed Forces, I consider it my duty and responsibility to bring to your notice that we, the armed forces of the country, owe our allegiance only to the Constitution of India”.
He further wrote that in his capacity as the Constitutional Head of the Nation, President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and the Armed Forces are ‘NOT’ a private force belonging to any individual or political party. “Therefore, any suggestion to that effect is completely unacceptable,” read the letter.
The remarks have also not gone down well with the military officials, with sources indicating that they were “upset”.
As quoted by The Wire, Lt General (retired) H S Panag also said that the comments did not come as a surprise, as such remarks have been made by politicians over the last five years in an attempt to link nationalism with the armed forces. “Such comments lead to politicisation of the army,” Panag said. He, however, maintained that the Army remains apolitical.
The Election Commission has taken cognisance of Adityanath’s remarks, and has sought a report from Ghaziabad district administration in this regard.
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