India’s former chief of naval staff L Ramdas has written a letter to the Election Commission (EC) expressing dismay over what he sees as the misuse of the Balakot ‘airstrike’ to “influence the electorate”.
Ramdas, who led the Indian Navy from 1990 to 1993, criticised the use of armed forces to garner votes. The former admiral has said the “recent instances of using the armed forces for political gains, especially in the aftermath of both Pulwama and the strikes in Balakot” is against the ethos of the armed forces.
Earlier on February 14, a suicide attack in Indian-occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama district killed at least 44 Indian paramilitary soldiers after a car rammed a bus carrying troops.
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The armed forces, Ramdas said in the letter, are “apolitical” and have always followed “secular” ethos.
He has also asked the Election Commission to ensure that armed forces are not used for political gains.
“With elections due 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,” the letter further reads.