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Direct political parties to stop using the services for political gains: Ex-officers to President

ANI  |  Politics 

A group of retired officers of the Army, Navy and has written a letter to Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to urgently direct all political parties to stop using the services to further their political agenda.

"We hereby respectfully urge to take all necessary steps to urgently direct all political parties that they must forthwith desist from using the military, military uniform or symbols, and any actions by military formation or personnel, for political purposes or to further their political agendas," the letter said on Thursday.

The 156 signatories include eight former service chiefs - Sunith Francis Rodrigues, Shankar Roy Chowdhury Deepak Kapoor, Laxminarayan Ramdas, Vishnu Bhagwat, Arun Prakash, and NC Suri.

The veterans expressed concern over "unusual and completely unacceptable practice of political leaders taking credit for military operations like cross-border strikes, and even going so far as to claim the Armed Forces to be 'Modi ji ki Sena'".

Addressing a public rally in Ghaziabad on April 1, had referred to the as "Modi ji ki sena" while drawing a comparison between the steps taken by the BJP-led central government against terrorism and the previous government.

The (ECI) had issued a censure to over his remark.

The former military officers regretted that the ECI's censure does not "appear to have resulted in any substantive change of behaviour and practice on the ground".

The letter said, "This is in addition to of election platforms and campaigns in which party workers are seen wearing military uniforms; and posters and images with pictures of soldiers and especially of Indian Wing Abhinandan Varthaman, displayed."

It said that the misuse the armed forces "would impinge adversely on the morale and fighting efficiency of the serving man or woman in uniform".

Top BJP leaders including and have been citing the Balakot operation and the 2016 surgical strikes in their election rallies to underline the NDA government's ability to take tough decisions on security.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 10:31 IST