Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referred to the Indian Army as "Modiji ki Sena" at a rally in Ghaziabad on March 31.IANS

Five days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referred to the Indian Army as "Modiji ki Sena" (Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Army), at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said that the UP chief minister has violated the model code of conduct. ECI has 'cautioned' Adityanath saying, "Be careful in your utterances in the future."

The ECI had served a show-cause notice to Adityanath and asked the BJP leader to file a reply by April 5. This comes after the Uttar Pradesh CM addressed a rally in Ghaziabad on Sunday. Adityanath referred to the Indian Army as "Modi ji ki sena" while drawing a comparison between the steps taken by the Modi-led NDA government against terrorism and the previous Congress government. "Things which were impossible for the SP-BSP, are now possible; it is possible since Modi is here. Congress used to feed biryani to terrorists but Modi ji ki sena (PM Modi's army) gives them only golis and golas (bullets and bombs). This is the difference," the Chief Minister said at the rally.

Adityanath's remarks drew sharp criticism from the Opposition. Former Navy Chief L Ramdas had also complained to the commission.

Responding to Adityanath's comments, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said,"It is shocking to hear the UP CM saying that the Indian Army is the 'Modi Sena'. Such blatant personalisation and usurping of our beloved Indian Army is an insult and a humiliation."

EC had cautioned parties on forces reference

The Commission had issued instructions to ensure that the spirit of the Model Code of Conduct is not violated. Despite the clear instructions, Yogi Adityanath made the remark. The ECI has asked political parties and their leaders to exercise "great caution" while making any reference to the Armed Forces in their poll campaigns. EC's show cause notice to Adityanath was issued under the above instructions.