Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Congress sinks to new low on Army veterans’ ‘fake letter’

The claim to discredit the government took a nosedive and a controversy erupted when the Armed Forces veterans denied having signed a letter, which surfaced on the social media and WhatsApp apparently addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind expressing concern over “politicization of the armed forces.”

It is claimed by the opposition parties that over 150 veterans from the armed forces raised their concerns for the forces. No sooner the report was published, the Congress politicised the whole issue, “Modi may try to use soldiers for votes, but it’s clear that soldiers stand with India and not the BJP. 156 Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces including 8 former Chiefs of Staff write to the President of India urging him to act against Modi for trying to use soldiers for votes,” said a tweet from the Congress’ official Twitter handle.

However, Gen S F Rodrigues, who is said to be the first signatory of the letter denied having signed any such letter. Former IAF Air Marshal NC Suri claimed that he was misquoted and denied any letter written to the President.

Suri also revealed  that the letter was written by some Major Chaudhry and not Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, as is being claimed.  “He (Major Chaudhary) has written this and it was coming on WhatsApp and emails,” he added.

Former IAF chief Air Marshal NC Suri said that he was “misquoted” as he added that the letter to the President was not written by him.“We have been misquoted,” Air Marshal Suri was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Earlier today, it was reported that Army veterans have objections to politicians “taking credit” for military operations, party workers wearing army camouflage and displaying of pictures of the heroes of Armed forces, particularly IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. ( It may be recalled that Congress candidate Urmila Matgaonkar attended a social function uninvited, where a picture of Wing Commander was put behind the candidate).

General SF Rodrigues, displayed his displeasure and helplessness, and said, “We in the services have always done what the Government in power ordered us, we are an instrument of the state. We are apolitical. Anyone can say anything and then sell it as fake news, I don’t know who this gentleman is who wrote this,” he said.

Former Army Vice Chief Lt General ML Naidu too denied having given consent to the letter, Lt Gen Naidu’s name also features in the list of 150  veterans, claiming to sign the letter to President.  “No, my consent has not been taken for any such letter and neither have I written any such letter,” was told news agency ANI.

The sources inside the Rashtrapati Bhawan also denied having received any such letter, after the news was published and circulated, as reported by ANI.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman lashed out against the people with ulterior motives and said that it is worrying that “fake letters” are being signed by people with vested interests.

“Two senior officers said they haven’t given consent, worrying that fake letters being signed by vested groups. Condemnable. Rashtrapati Bhawan has also said that they have not received the letter,” she told reporters.

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