“Stop misuse of Armed Forces for political gains”: Ex-Navy Chief to Election Commissioner

NEW DELHI: Former Navy chief Admiral L Ramdas (retired) wrote an open letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and asked immediate intervention of the Election Commission to stop political parties from politicizing Pulwama and its aftermath.

He asked the election commissioner to intervene and prevent political parties from using the Pulwama attack, Balakot air strike and Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardaman’s operations to influence the political gains and he expressed concerns on “recent instances” of parties using armed forces’ heroics for political gains.

In his two-page letter, he stated that “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.”

“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.

“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 added.