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Over 150 military veterans write to President over politicisation of forces

Press Trust of India/New Delhi 12 Apr 19 | 11:15 AM

Eight former service chiefs and 148 other military veterans have written to President Ram Nath Kovind, expressing outrage over what they termed using the armed forces for political purposes.

The signatories of the letter included former Army chiefs General (retired) SF Rodrigues, General (retired) Shankar Roy Chowdhury and General (retired) Deepak Kapoor, former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal (retired) NC Suri.

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Three former Navy chiefs Admiral (retired) L Ramdas, Admiral (retired) Arun Prakash, Admiral (retired) Mehta and Admiral (retired) Vishnu Bhagwat also signed the letter, which was sent to Kovind on Thursday.

"We refer, Sir, to the 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'," the veterans wrote.

The military veterans said it was a matter of considerable concern and disquiet among both the serving and the retired personnel that the armed forces are being used to pursue political agenda.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently referred to the armed forces as "Modiji ki Sena" at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh, triggering strong reactions from the opposition parties.

The Election Commission too also took strong objection to the comments.

In the letter, the military veterans also expressed disappointment over the usage of photos of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman and other soldiers at election campaigns.

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