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India
12 Apr 2019

Two veterans deny signing letter to President about Army's misuse

Row over Army veterans' letter to President

On Friday, a letter signed by over 150 Army veterans and addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind surfaced on social media.

In the letter, the veterans told President that they were upset with how political parties are using armed forces for their agenda in the ongoing poll season.

But the events took an unforeseen turn when two veterans claimed they didn't sign the letter.

In context

Row over Army veterans' letter to President
Reportedly, the letter was signed by former service chiefs

Letter

Reportedly, the letter was signed by former service chiefs

The controversial letter, purportedly signed by eight former service chiefs, was meant to draw President Kovind's attention to happenings in the nation.

"We refer, Sir, to the unusual and completely unacceptable practice of political leaders taking credit for military operations like cross-border strikes, and even going so far as to claim the Armed Forces to be Modi Ji ki Sena," the letter read.

Veterans "explained" why letter was written to President

"We write to bring to your attention, as the Supreme Commander of India's Armed Forces, some concerns which have caused considerable alarm and disquiet among both the serving and the retired personnel of our Forces," the letter read.

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Here is the letter which went viral

Denial

First signatory said he didn't know anything about it

Just as letter became a topic of discussion, two veterans maintained distance from it.

Former Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General SF Rodrigues, whose name appeared as the first signatory said he didn't know anything about the letter.

"We in the services have always done what the government in power ordered us, we are an instrument of the state," he said.

Anyone can sell anything as fake news: Rodrigues

Separately, a report claimed Rashtrapati Bhavan didn't receive any letter

Details

Separately, a report claimed Rashtrapati Bhavan didn't receive any letter

Echoing the same emotions, former IAF chief NC Suri said his consent wasn't taken either.

"I don't agree with whatever has been written in that letter. We have been misquoted," the veteran told ANI.

Amid the row, NDTV claimed sources at Rashtrapati Bhavan denied receiving any such letter from the veterans in the first place.

Reactions

Congress quickly jumped to slam BJP

Since the purported letter mentioned phrases like Modi ki sena, a term Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath used to refer to armed forces, Congress quickly slammed the Centre.

"Modi may try to use soldiers for votes, but it's clear that soldiers stand with India and not the BJP," the official Twitter handle of Congress wrote. The letter was also tweeted.

Separately, Amarinder Singh also weighed in on the letter

Tweet

Separately, Amarinder Singh also weighed in on the letter

Notably, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh also urged President Kovind to act. "Politicization of armed forces is a serious matter and needs to be put an immediate stop to," he tweeted.

To recall, Singh has shot off a letter to EC after PM Modi asked first-time voters to vote for soldiers "who carried out Balakot strikes and were martyred in Pulwama".

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Most asked questions

What is the controversy surrounding letter to President?

Who spoke up against the letter?

Has the President said anything on the letter?

Who called Indian army as Modi ki sena?

More questions

What is the controversy surrounding letter to President?

Asked 2019-04-12 15:53:15 by Chirag Kapur

Answered by NewsBytes

It was reported that army veterans sent a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to do something about political parties who were using army's actions during the campaign. However, two veterans said they don't know anything about it.

Who spoke up against the letter?

Asked 2019-04-12 15:53:15 by Vihaan Sharma

Answered by NewsBytes

Former Army Chief SF Rodrigues and Air Chief Marshal (retired) NC Suri maintained distance from the letter.

Has the President said anything on the letter?

Asked 2019-04-12 15:53:15 by Navya Mehra

Answered by NewsBytes

No. President Kovind hasn't said anything on the letter but reports claimed Rashtrapati Bhavan didn't receive any such document.

Who called Indian army as Modi ki sena?

Asked 2019-04-12 15:53:15 by Trisha Chopra

Answered by NewsBytes

Yogi Adityanath, during a rally, called Indian army as Modi ki sena. Subsequently, EC asked him to choose his words wisely.

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