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Ex-Navy Chief's open letter to EC: Stop misuse of armed forces’ heroics for political gains

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 9 March 2019, 12:38 IST

In an open letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, former Navy chief Admiral L Ramdas (retired) has sought for an immediate intervention of the Election Commission for blocking political parties using the Pulwama attack, Balakot air strike and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's operations to influence the electorate, ahead of national polls.

Admiral Ramdas has expressed concerns to Sunil Arora on "recent instances" of parties using armed forces' heroics for political gains.
"With elections due in a few weeks from now, it is particularly important that there should not be any misuse of these recent events by any political party to send triumphalist or jingoistic messages which can influence the electorate," he said.

"And it is in this context that as a responsible citizen and a proud veteran of the Indian Armed Forces, I share our collective sense of dismay and deep concern at how some political parties are brazenly pushing their agenda using images, uniforms and other examples, showing pictures of the armed forces with political figures, in public spaces, in media, election rallies and so on," he added.

Former Navy chief said it was completely unacceptable of political parties that it can destroy the very foundations and value system of the armed forces, drawn from the vision. He also said he could not circulate the open letter for more signatures "although many veterans are duly agitated by these attempts to compromise the integrity and secular nature of the Indian Armed Forces".

"We, therefore, urge the Election Commission to immediately intervene and send a strong message to the political parties that there should be no misuse of the photographs as indeed any other material/reports or other information pertaining to the armed forces for electioneering in any way," he said.

First published: 9 March 2019, 12:36 IST