Navy ex-chief writes to EC over Yogi remark

New Delhi, Apr 2 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/2/2019 1:00:56 PM IST

Indian Navy ex-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 at an election rally on Sunday. “The Armed Forces are not a private force belonging to any individual or political party, and therefore any suggestion to that effect is completely unacceptable,” Admiral Ramdas said, asking the EC to take suitable action to arrest such irresponsible actions.

Admiral Ramdas, who lives in Maharashtra, had some three weeks ago, expressed concerns about the growing ‘politicisation of the armed forces by political parties’.

The EC had issued guidelines advising political parties to refrain from using pictures or images of armed forces in their campaigning for the forthcoming General Election.

At a rally on Sunday, Adityanath, while campaigning for sitting MP and Union Minister VK Singh in Ghaziabad, said: “Congress ke log aatank-wadiyon ko biryani khilate the aur Modi ji ki sena aatankwadiyon ko goli aur gola deti hai (Congress people would feed biryani to terrorists, while Modi’s Army gives them bullet or bomb).

The remarks have also not gone down well with the military.

 “This was exactly the kind of development I was fearing when I wrote to you last month,” Admiral Ramdas said, adding as one of the senior most former chiefs of the Armed Forces, I consider it is my duty and responsibility to bring to your notice the fact that we, the armed forces of the country, owe our allegiance only to the Constitution of India.”

EC to examine Yogi’s comment 

The Election Commission on Tuesday received a factual report on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s reported remarks referring to the Indian Army as ‘Modiji ki sena’ and has started examining it to ascertain whether it violated the model code of conduct.

The district magistrate of Ghaziabad has furnished a report in this regard. “It is under examination,” official sources said.

“Congress ke log aatankwadiyon ko biryani khilate the aur Modiji 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). This is the difference. The Congress people use ‘ji’ to refer to Masood Azhar to encourage terrorism,” Adityanath said at an election rally in Ghaziabad on Sunday.

The BJP leader was campaigning for sitting MP and Union minister V K Singh.

The Election Commission had on March 19 asked political parties to “desist” from indulging in any propaganda involving actions taken by defence forces during their Lok Sabha poll campaigns.

The advisory came days after the poll panel asked parties and their candidates against using pictures of defence force personnel in their campaign material. “...parties/candidates are advised that their campaigners/candidates should desist, as part of their election campaigning, from indulging in any political propaganda involving activities of defence forces,” it had said.

Former Navy Chief Admiral L Ramdas had Monday said he would approach the Election Commission against Adityanath for his remarks and claimed that many veterans and those in service were upset over it.

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