Millennium Post

Stop use of armed forces' ops to win votes: Ex-Navy Chief

New Delhi: Former navy chief Admiral L Ramdas (Retd) has urged immediate intervention of the Election Commission in stopping political parties from using incidents like the Pulwama attack, Balakot strike and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's operations to influence the electorate. In an open letter to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Admiral L Ramdas (Retd) expressed concerns 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. In his two-page letter, the former navy chief said the armed forces have always prided themselves on belonging to a structure, an ethos and an environment which have been both apolitical and secular.

"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 said.

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