VK Singh Denies Calling Yogi ‘Traitor’ Over ‘Modi Ki Sena’ Remark
UP CM Yogi Adityanath had referred to the Indian Army as “Modi ji ki sena” in an election campaign on Sunday.
Former Chief of Army Staff and MoS for External Affairs Ministry VK Singh, on Thursday, 4 April, distanced himself from the ‘traitor’ comment against Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath. In an interview to BBC Hindi, Singh had said that anyone who refers to the Indian Army as “Modi ji ki sena” (Modi’s Army) is not just wrong but that person is also a “traitor”.
However, hours after the interview was released on Thursday, Singh said the reporter was either asleep or had deliberately edited the video to seem like that.
(Translation: Did exactly what I had coined the word ‘presstitute’ for. I have a record of what I said. It seems the reporter was sleeping or he intentionally made a false statement by pasting the cut. Well done, Jugal – how much money did you get ?)
However, BBC Hindi replied to his tweet, putting out the complete, unedited interview.
This comes a day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was issued a notice by the Election Commission of India for referring to the Indian Army as ‘Modi ji ki Sena’ during an election campaign in Ghaziabad.
Yogi had said:
“Congress ke log aatankwadiyon ko biryani khilate the aur Modi ji ki sena aatankwadiyon ko goli aur gola deti hai (Congress people would feed biryani to terrorists, while Modi’s army gives them bullet or bomb). This is the difference. The Congress people use ‘ji’ in Masood Azhar’s name to encourage terrorism.”
In an interview to BBC Hindi, Singh had said that referring to the BJP cadre as “Modi’s army” is one thing, but calling Indian Army “Modi’s army” is downright wrong.
“If someone says that the Indian Army is Modi’s army, then he is not only wrong but also a traitor to the country. India’s Army belongs to the country, it does not belong to a political party.”VK Singh, MoS External Affairs to BBC Hindi
“Indian Army is competent enough to stay out of politics. So, I don’t know who is talking about such things,” Singh added in the interview. He said that the Army was impartial and had always been apolitical.
“If you want to talk about the Indian Army, talk about the Indian Army,” he added. “If we talk about political workers, we can call it Modi’s army or the BJP’s army. But there is a difference.” Singh did not name Adityanath but he said that there are two-three people who say such things because they don’t have anything else to do.
Singh also said that former Navy Chief Admiral Ramdas had said that it seems the accomplishments of the army are being used for political gains, while General DS Hooda said this should not happen.
Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha thanked General VK Singh for speaking up on the issue.
Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel said he hoped that “BJP takes suitable action against these anti-nationals.”
Why Are Other Military Leaders Upset?
Former Navy Chief Admiral Ramdas had taken severe umbrage at Yogi’s remarks, saying that the armed forces do not belong to any individual, adding that veterans and those in service were upset with the comment by the UP CM.
“The armed forces do not belong to any one individual, they serve the country. Till the polls get over, the Chief Election Commissioner is the boss. I am going to approach the Election Commission in this regard,” Admiral Ramdas said, PTI reported.
On 2 April, ANI reported that he had written to the EC, asking them to look into possible Model Code of Conduct violations.
Lieutenant General HS Panag (retired) also expressed distaste at the comments, but said he was not surprised because this had become the trend. "Such comments lead to politicisation of the army," Lieutenant General Panag told PTI. He said the army remains apolitical.
The Commission has sought a reply from the UP chief minister by 5 April.
(With inputs from BBC Hindi and PTI.)
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