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Stop using of Armed Forces for political gain says ex Navy chief

March 10, 2019

Admiral L Ramdas (retired), former chief of the Indian Navy has asked for the immediate intervention of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in stopping political parties from using the Pulwama attack, the Balakot air strike and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to influence the elections.

In an open letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Admiral Ramdas has voiced his concern on instances of parties using armed forces 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. - Admiral Ramdas, Former Indian Navy Chief

In a two-page letter, he said the armed forces have always been proud of being part of a structure and a culture that is non-political and secular.

"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," said the retired officer.

Admiral Ramdas expressed concern that this would destroy the foundations and value system of the armed forces. He also said that many former officers are agitated by the "attempts to compromise the integrity and secular nature of the Indian Armed Forces".

He has urged the ECI to 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.

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