Amidst charges of politicising the armed forces by the opposition in the BJP’s campaigns, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor any other NDA leader wanted to politicise armed forces and there was nothing wrong in talking about the political will giving freedom to the forces to take action as they deem fit.
At an informal interactive session with intellectuals, academicians and young thinkers here, she said the opposition had been constantly coming up with the allegation that armed forces were being politicised.
“Nobody wants to politicise the armed forces, not particularly myself or prime minister or anybody from here (government). We dont want to politicise the armed forces, she said.
Sitharaman sought to know whether it was wrong to compare how “weak” the Manmohan Singh-led government was in 2008 post Mumbai attacks and the how “strong” the Modi government was now in 2019 after the Pulwama terror attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed which killed 40 CRPF Jawans in February.
Action was taken after Pulwama because we felt the heat from the people saying Is this India? Is this the government we voted for? Are you incapable of taking action?
“And then the political will, based on sound intelligence information, gives the freedom to the armed forces to take the necessary action as they deemed fit. Is it wrong to say it? That is not politicisation of the armed forces, the Defence Minister asserted.
She asked the people to differentiate between politicisation and talking about the political will.