150 veterans appeal to Prez to preserve apolitical character of armed forces

By  Shimon Chadha | Updated:  Apr 12, 2019, 01:50 PM

In a fervent appeal to President Ram Nath Kovind to “ensure that the secular and apolitical character of the armed forces is preserved”, approximately 150 military veterans have written a letter to urge him to take an action against the politicisation of the armed forces by leaders across the country in the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections.
The letter to the President, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was written yesterday, on the first day of the 17th General Elections, states that the mentioning of armed forces by leaders in speeches, for political propaganda, was an “unusual and totally unacceptable practice”.
The veterans, which included eight former Service Chiefs, urged the President to “take all necessary steps to urgently direct all political parties that they must further desist from using the military, military uniforms or symbols, and any actions by military formations or personnel, for political purposes or to further their political agendas”. 
This request reflected the directions of the Election Commission in the guidelines of the Model Code of Conduct which has been applicable since March 10, when the election schedule was announced. The guidelines have been violated time and again, with multiple references to the airstrike by the Indian Air Force on the terror training camp in Pakistan, by many leaders in speeches for “electioneering”.

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