The Election Commission on Friday asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath to be careful in his utterances in the future after his “Modiji ki Sena” remark, PTI reported. The poll body had issued Adityanath a notice on Wednesday for referring to the Indian Army as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s army.
Adityanath had made the remark in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday while accusing the Congress of going soft on terrorists during the United Progressive Alliance’s regime. “The Congress government used to serve biryani to terrorists and Modi ji’s army sends bullets and bombs their way,” he had claimed.
In his reply to the poll body, Adityanath said that he meant by his remark that the decisiveness of the Indian leadership had an important role to play, apart from the Army’s bravery, in the forces’ accomplishments. “The common man often uses the phrase ‘our army’,” the chief minister claimed. “It does not mean any individual’s army. When I said ‘Modiji ki sena’, I meant our [Indian] Army.”
The Election Commission, however, said it is not satisfied with the chief minister’s clarification. “It does not comply with the commission’s directive of not using armed forces for political means,” the poll body wrote. “But since Adityanath is a senior leader, he should be extra careful in his political speeches. He is advised to be careful about using armed forces for political purposes.”
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had earlier in the day demanded that the poll panel take “decisive action” to deter others from making such remarks, PTI reported. He claimed that if the Election Commission fails to take action, the Congress will remind the poll panel of its responsibilities, while the people will “take control like Lord Krishna”.
On Monday, Election Commission spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan said that Uttar Pradesh’s chief electoral officer had sought a report by Tuesday afternoon.
The same day, former Navy Chief Admiral L Ramdas had said he will approach the Election Commission against the Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s comments. “The armed forces do not belong to any one individual, they serve the country,” Ramdas had said.
Opposition leaders, including Mamata Banerjee, Ashok Gehlot and D Raja, and several Army personnel had criticised Adityanath for his remarks.
On March 9, the Election Commission had instructed political parties to keep the country’s defence personnel out of election campaigning and not to use their photographs in advertisements. In an advisory, the Election Commission had said that the Ministry of Defence had brought to its attention that some parties were using photographs of defence personnel in political advertisements.