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1-min read

Over 260 Veterans Write to President Kovind, EC Against Politicians Using Armed Forces for Votes

The veterans said such practices would 'impinge adversely on the morale and fighting efficiency of serving man or woman in uniform and therefore directly affect national security'.

News18.com

Updated:April 25, 2019, 11:44 AM IST
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Over 260 Veterans Write to President Kovind, EC Against Politicians Using Armed Forces for Votes
File photo of President Ram Nath Kovind.
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New Delhi: Over 250 veterans have once again written to President Ram Nath Kovind and the Election Commission, seeking an end to the politicisation of the armed forces in the Lok Sabha elections.

The letter, which was originally signed by 156 people, states the concerns of the forces “which have caused considerable alarm and disquiet”.

Objecting to the practice of political leaders claiming credit for military operations like cross-border strikes, the veterans also referred to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s “Modiji ki sena” remarks.

veteran's letter

The letter said though a notification had been issued to seek explanation from those responsible for such comments, “these do not appear to have resulted in any substantive change of behaviour or practice on ground”.

They added that with elections, such practices were bound to be on the rise.

Stating that such practices would “impinge adversely on the morale and fighting efficiency of serving man or woman in uniform and therefore directly affect national security”, the veterans appealed to ensure that “secular and apolitical character of armed forces is preserved”.

They urged that steps be taken to direct all parties to desist from using military, military uniforms or symbols, and “any actions by military personnel or formations for political purposes or to further their political agenda”.

The letter, which was first signed by over 150 veterans about two weeks ago, had created a furore, with the Opposition accusing the Narendra Modi government of trying to appropriate the armed forces.

Hitting back at the criticism, Union minister Prakash Javadekar had termed it a “disgusting act by grand alliance”, saying it reflected disappointment and nervousness of the Opposition.

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