Mamata Criticises Yogi for Allegedly Invoking Army in Election Speech

The EC advisory to not use the armed forces for political gain has not stopped political parties from violating the guidelines.

New Delhi: Despite the Election Commission issuing a general advisory to political parties on March 9 to desist from “indulging in any political propaganda involving activities of the Defence forces,” leaders of the BJP have been regularly violating it.

The latest episode involves Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. While addressing a rally in Bisara in Dadri region of Ghazibad constituency, Adityanath is alleged to have invoked the armed forces in his speech. The chief election officer Lucknow has asked for a factual report from DEO district election office Ghaziabad by noon tomorrow

News agency ANI quoted him as saying that while the Congress treats terrorists to ‘biryani’, it is Modi’s “sena” which deals with terrorists with bullets and bombs.

His statement has been objected to by several politicians, including West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee. She took to Twitter to criticise BJP leaders for politicising the army.

Mamata Banerjee said it was shocking that Adityanath had dubbed the Indian army the ‘Modi Sena’.

She added that the Army belongs to all and is “not a cassette of the BJP”.

The Election Commission had issued a general advisory to political parties to advise their candidates and leaders to desist from displaying photos of defence personnel or to involve them in advertisements. the EC also launched app called cVIGIL, that enables voters and citizens to flag “malpractices” and notify violations to it directly.

But despite this, several instances of political parties violating the guidelines emerged.

Also read: Despite EC’s Rules, Parties Found Politicising Armed Forces

Thereafter on March 19, the Election Commission reiterated the guidelines. Its principal secretary Narendra N. Butolia reminded the political parties about the panel’s earlier advisory and urged them to “desist, as part of their election campaigning, from indulging in any political propaganda involving activities of the defence forces.”

Clearly, the reminder has also missed the targeted audience.