A massive row has erupted over Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referring to the Indian Army as ‘Modiji ki Sena’ (army of Prime Minister Narendra Modi) at a rally on Sunday. The Election Commission has taken cognisance of the remark and sought a report by Tuesday afternoon, Election Commission spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan told news agency, PTI.
The BJP’s firebrand leader had made the controversial remark in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad on Sunday as he accused the Congress party of being soft on terrorists during the UPA’s regime.
“The Congress government served biryani to terrorists and Modiji’s army sends bullets and bombs their way,” he is heard saying in the video shared by the news agency, ANI.
Adityanath has drawn criticism from all corners of the Opposition for his comments. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday termed Adityanath’s comments shocking, tweeting, “Such blatant personalisation and usurping of our beloved Indian Army is an insult and a humiliation.”
“They are a great asset of our nation and not a cassette of the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party].” The Trinamool Congress president also asked the citizenry to “stand up and reject this statement”.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot too criticised the remark by Adityanath. He said on Monday, “The nation is proud of its Armed Forces. They belong to all of us and are not ‘Modiji ki sena’. BJP should respect our Armed Forces and stop politicising their valour and sacrifices.”
Priyanka Chaturvedi, Congress spokesperson called the remark an insult to the armed forces. She said on Twitter, “They are India’s Armed Forces, not the private army [of Modi]. Adityanath must apologise.”
D Raja, a senior leader of the Communist Party of India, condemned the remark and urged the Election Commission to ‘take disciplinary action against Adityanath, said a PTI report.
He said, “This is a clear way of intimidating the voters and creating a fear psychosis in their minds. How can the defence forces belong to one political party?”