New Delhi: Former Navy Chief Admiral L. Ramdas has approached the Election Commission against Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who referred to the Indian Army as “Modiji ki sena (Modi’s army)”.
He said the armed forces do not belong to any individual and claimed that many veterans and those in the service were upset over it.
“The armed forces do not belong to any one individual, they serve the country. Till the polls get over, the Chief Election Commissioner is the boss. I am going to approach the Election Commission in this regard,” Admiral Ramdas had said.
In his letter to the EC, Admiral Ramdas has said, “As one of the senior most 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.”
— ପ୍ରିୟଦର୍ଶୀ/प्रियदर्शी/Priyadarshi (@MajChowdhury) April 2, 2019
Addressing a rally in Ghaziabad on Sunday, Adityanath referred to the Indian Army as “Modiji ki sena”, which triggered a political storm with sharp reactions from the opposition.
The remarks have also not gone down well with the military, with sources indicating that it was “upset”.
Lt General (retired) H.S. Panag also said 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 also took cognisance of Adityanath’s remarks and sought a report from Ghaziabad district administration in this regard.
Admiral Ramdas had written to the EC in March as well, after the Balakot airstrike. “And it is in this context that as a responsible citizen and a proud veteran of the Indian Armed Forces, I share our collective sense of dismay and deep concern at how some political parties are brazenly pushing their agenda using images, uniforms and other examples, showing pictures of the armed forces with political figures, in public spaces, in media, election rallies and so on. This is completely unacceptable since it has the potential to destroy the very foundations and value system of our armed forces, drawn from the vision, the spirit and intent of the Indian Constitution,” he had said then.
(With PTI inputs)