New Delhi: Five retired lieutenant generals, a former colonel and a retired wing commander Saturday joined the BJP, boosting its claim of being the only party capable of taking care of the nation’s security.
The seven veterans of the armed forces were welcomed into the BJP by Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the party’s headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay marg in the national capital.
Soon after joining the BJP, the officers said that the Modi government had completely changed the perception that India’s response to terror attacks was weak or ineffective.
Those who joined BJP
These veterans are Lt General (retired) S.K. Patyal, who was deputy chief of Army staff and ex-DG, military intelligence, Lt General (retired) J.B.S. Yadav, who was former deputy chief of Army staff, Lt General (retired) R.N. Singh, former director general military intelligence, Lt General (retired) Sunit Kumar, former DG (Information Services and IT), Lt General (retired) Nitin Kohli, former DG manpower planning and personnel services, Colonel (retired) R.K. Tripathi, former deputy judge advocate, corps headquarters, and Wing Commander (retired) Navneet Magon, who was in the Air Force’s medical services.
The BJP has been claiming that it is the only party that takes care of the welfare of the armed forces and party leaders in several occasions have pointed out that it had implemented the One Rank One Pension scheme that had been a long-pending demand of retired and serving armed forces personnel, which previous governments had denied to implement.
Praise for PM’s anti-terror policy
The retired officers were all praise for Modi for his policy against terrorism.
“When we look at these last five years, we see that our Prime Minister and his ministers have taken a large number of historic decisions,” said Lt General (retired) S.K. Patyal. “For example, two of the defence corridors have been established, tremendous focus has been given on defence manufacturing, which we used to procure from outside, major thrust has been given to DRDO, Ordinance board and private industry,” he added.
“The hardest decision that our PM took (was) to go deep into the heart of terrorism and then strike it,” Patyal said.
Lt General J.B.S. Yadav (retired) said he would want to thank the BJP and party chief Amit Shah, who has honoured him and others by inducting them into the party. “I agree that it is believed that defence forces will not go with any party. But, every person has a right to political thought. Our country is passing through a crucial phase. There is no leader like PM not just in the country, but in the whole world. We can’t just stay on sidelines. I believe our country will flourish under him,” added Yadav.