"Armed Forces Serve The Country Not An Individual" Army Veterans Take Offence Of "Modi Ji Ki Sena" Remark By Yogi
In a political rally at Bisada, Ghaziabad, on March 31, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called the Indian Army, “Modi ji Ki Sena”. This has not gone down well with the opposition and a section of defence personnel. They have called it politicisation of the military.
Additionally, former Navy Chief Admiral L Ramdas on April 2 approached the Election Commission against CM Yogi in regard to his comment. The EC too has asked district magistrate of Ghaziabad to submit a report to check if this comment by CM Yogi violates the Model Code of Conduct. It may be noted that EC, a few days back had asked political parties to refrain from using defence forces for any political gain.
“Armed forces do not belong to any individual”
As reported by The Times of India, a group of Army, Air Force and Navy officers said that while individually, they may have different political leanings, Defence forces as a whole has a “stellar record of being apolitical and secular”.
Retired General VP Malik, who served as the Army Chief during the Kargil conflict said that similar attempts of politicisation were made then. However, when he raised the matter with then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he was receptive “and agreed it was not done”.
Former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash said that he hopes that PM Modi will convey his disapproval against this “shocking and inappropriate” statement.
Ex-Navy Chief Admiral L Ramdas has approached EC in this matter. “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 Election Commission in this regard,” he had said, as reported by The Quint.
— ପ୍ରିୟଦର୍ଶୀ/प्रियदर्शी/Priyadarshi (@MajChowdhury) April 2, 2019
Opposition react strongly
CM Yogi in the rally said, “Congress ke log atankvadiyon ko biryani khilate hain, aur Modi ki sena unhe goli khilati hai. Yehi antar hai hamare aur Congress mein (Congress feeds biryani to terrorists and the army of Modi gives them bullets. This is the difference between us and the Congress).”
Congress Chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala called this remark of CM Yogi to be “flagrant violation” of the Election Commission.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said that the “blatant personalisation and usurping” of Army is an insult. She even tweeted asking people to reject this statement as the Indian Army is an asset and not a “cassette of BJP”.
We are proud of our Army. They belong to all. They are a great asset of our nation, and not a cassette of the BJP. People of this country must stand up and reject this statement. 2/2
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) April 1, 2019
CPI leader D Raja, while condemning the comment from CM Yogi, asked the EC to take disciplinary action against him.
Another aspect of the rally which drew major criticism was the fact that an accused in the Dadri lynching case was present in this rally. In fact, he was seen sitting in the front of the rally. Accused Vishal Singh is the son of local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, who claims that he has been wrongly implicated. All the accused, including Singh, are presently out on bail.