Yogi terms army 'Modi ki Sena', angers Oppn

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addresses an election rally in support of BJP candidate V K Singh, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, in Ghaziabad, on March 31, 2019. PTI

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath triggered a controversy after he referred to the Indian Army as “Modi ki Sena” at an election rally in Ghaziabad, forcing the Opposition to lash out at the comment.

The main accused in the Bisada lynching case, Vishal Singh, who is the son of a local BJP leader, was also seen occupying a front row seat in the rally.

“Congress ke log atankvadiyon ko biryani khilate hain....aur Modi ki sena unhe goli khilati hai...yehi antar hai hamare aur congress mein’’ (Congress feeds terrorists with biryani and the army of Modi gives them bullets. This is the difference between us and the Congress,’’ Adityanath said, while addressing a rally at Bisada in Ghaziabad on Sunday.

The remarks led to a strong backlash from the Opposition leaders, who termed it a violation of the model code of conduct and sought action against Adityanath.

“The remarks are reflective of a brazen attempt to use the Indian Army to gain mileage in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. We have been saying that the BJP has been trying to make political capital out of the air strikes. The Election Commission must take action,” said a senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader here on Monday.

CPI leader D Raja termed the comment “highly condemnable”. “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” It is the Indian defence forces. How is it Modi’s army?” said Raja.

Lynching accused present

The presence of Vishal Singh, who was the prime accused in the lynching of a Muslim youth at Bisada village following rumours of eating beef in 2015, at the rally also invited flak from the Opposition. Singh is out on bail.

“BJP has no regret over the lynching... it is taking help of such people to win the polls,’’ said the SP leader.

Singh was seen raising pro-BJP slogans at the rally in which Adityanath harped mainly on banning slaughterhouses and Balakot air strikes.

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