A video accusing some Army men of forcing people to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party during polling has gone viral on the social media.
In the two-minute clip, two unidentified men can be seen questioning men in uniform over campaigning for the BJP and their alleged attempt at casting proxy votes.
A reader reached out to The Quint on WhatsApp and asked us to check the video’s authenticity.
The two men confronting the men in uniform allege that the latter came out running after they were confronted by people inside the polling booth for campaigning for the BJP and allegedly trying to cast proxy votes.
The men and the vehicle behind them were identified, in the viral post, as belonging to the Grenadiers Regimental Centre in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur.
The Indian Army refuted the claims made in the video by the unidentified men.
According to their statement, the video aimed at deliberately maligning soldiers of Grenadier Regimental Centre, and that while they were waiting outside, political goons shouting slogans came and started recording.
“The allegations are complete falsehood. The individuals had rung up Commandant when they were videographed and he told them not to get into any altercation and exercise their right of franchise and get back peacefully,” the Army’s statement said.
In the video, the Army men are also accused of casting proxy votes. The statement said “total of 1386 application for all ranks and dependents were applied from the Centre to ECI as General Voter ID Cards, out of which, 1304 voted today.”
On the vehicle being questioned in the video, the Army clarified that heavy vehicles were provided to facilitate movement of troops and families to vote in these booths.
What Do the Indian Army Rules Say?
Rule number 20(1) states, “No person subject to the Act shall attend, address or take part in any meeting or demonstration held for a party or any political purposes, or belong to or join or subscribe in the aid of, any political association or movement,”.
Meanwhile, Rule number 20(2) clarifies, "No person subject to the Act shall issue an address to electors or in any other manner publicly announce himself or allow himself to be publicly announced as a candidate or as a prospective candidate for election to Parliament, the legislature of a State or a local authority, or any public body, or act as a member of a candidate’s election committee, or in any way actively promote or prosecute a candidate’s interests,".