Chandigarh: Welcoming the election commission's move to call upon all parties to advise their candidates and leaders to desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel in advertisements, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh sought an end to "politicisation of the armed forces for political gains."
"Earning brownie points through politicisation of forces is as wrong as using photographs of defence personnel to take political mileage," he said in a statement issued here on Sunday.
The Election Commission had on Saturday asked political parties to "desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel" against the backdrop of a picture showing a hoarding with images of Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as well as leaders of a party.
In a fresh instruction issued to all political parties, the EC had referred to its December 2013 letter in which it had "called upon all political parties to advise their candidates and leaders to desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel or photographs functions involving defence personnel in advertisements".
"It is good that the EC has taken note of the shameful practice of using such photographs for electoral gains, especially in the wake of the recent IAF air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan," Singh said.
The chief minister, a former army man himself, said the armed forces are above all petty considerations such as caste, religion or political affiliations and need to be kept so if India is to remain an independent sovereign power.
Any political interference in the functioning of the forces would be highly detrimental to the security and the larger interest of the nation and its people, Singh said.
"Political control of the armed forces could have devastating effects on a country and its future, as much as interference by the forces could have on its polity," he said and warned the political parties not to make the mistake which some other nations had made to their peril.
The armed forces are a vital institution of our country and any erosion in their authority could be dangerous to the safety and security of our people, he warned