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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Outrage as Yogi Adityanath says Indian Army is Modi’s

UP’s chief electoral officer L Venkateshwarlu sought a report from the Ghaziabad district magistrate over Adityanath’s comments made at a public meeting on Sunday

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 01, 2019 23:53 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Yogi Adityanath,Indian Army,Narendra Modi
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath during the public rally at Bisada on March 31.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s description of the Indian armed forces as “Modi ji ki sena [Modi’s army]” caused a political uproar on Monday with opposition parties slamming him for violating the model code of conduct and politicising the forces.

UP’s chief electoral officer L Venkateshwarlu sought a report from the Ghaziabad district magistrate over Adityanath’s comments made at a public meeting on Sunday. Venkateshwarlu said the district magistrate had been directed to submit a report immediately.

Terming Adityanath’s remarks as a “flagrant violation” of the institution of the Election Commission, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “From the prime minister to chief minister, they are trampling upon the mandate of the country, fearing imminent defeat in the 2019 elections.” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said Adityanath’s comments were an insult to the armed forces while the Left urged the poll body to take action against the UP CM.

“Adityanath is a zero-performance chief minister,” Surjewala said, “that’s why he has to hide behind the sacrifices and valour of our armed forces. He is guilty of the death of nearly 400 children, majority being in his own parliamentary constituency, and protecting people accused of rape like BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar.”

Former army generals did not approve of the UP CM’s comments either. “Any army in a democracy belongs to the nation and is meant for its security and sovereignty,” said former army vice-chief Lieutenant General AS Lamba (retd). “Alluding to the army in a way that is akin to personalising the force is out of place. The Indian Army is an apolitical army,” Lamba added.

Former northern army commander Lieutenant General HS Panag (retd) said concerted efforts were being made to exploit the armed forces for political gains. “This is the beginning of the politicisation of the army,” Panag said.

At a rally in Ghaziabad on Sunday, Adityanath drew a parallel between the NDA government and the previous Congress regime over actions against terrorism. Referring to the air strike at Balakot, Adityanath said, “Things which were impossible for SP-BSP are now possible; it is possible since Modi is here. Congress used to feed biryani to terrorists but Modi ji ki sena gives them only golis and golas [bullets and bombs[. This is the difference.”

Mamata Banerjee said it was shocking to hear the description of the army as “Modi Sena”. “Such blatant personalisation and usurping of our beloved Indian Army is an insult and a humiliation. We are proud of our army. They belong to all. They are a great asset of our nation, and not a cassette of the BJP. People of this country must stand up and reject this statement,” Banerjee tweeted.

Communist Party of India leader D Raja said the Election Commission must act against the UP CM as it was “a clear way of intimidating the voters and creating a fear psychosis in their minds.”

First Published: Apr 01, 2019 23:53 IST

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