Over 250 army 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.
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”.
The letter, which was first signed by over 150 veterans about two weeks ago, had created a furor, with the opposition accusing the Narendra Modi government of trying to appropriate the armed forces.