Srinagar, May 10 (IANS) The District Election Officer (DEO) of Leh on Friday wrote to the Indian Army about a complaint alleging that its commanding officers were asking the jawans their voting preferences.
In a letter addressed to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Leh headquartered 14 Corps, Leh DEO Avny Lavasa said that an Independent candidate, Sajjad Hussain, has alleged that instead of providing ballot papers to the jawans for casting their votes, the commanding officers were asking the jawans their voting preferences.
The DEO said this was a gross violation of secrecy of voting and a malpractice that has the potential of inviting strict legal action.
Reacting to this, Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said, “Some political candidates appear to have complained regarding the postal ballot process to be cast by service personnel. No specific instances have been mentioned in the complaints.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that the complaints are unfounded and appear to have been made to tarnish the image of the Army. In depth investigation is on to ascertain the details in the most impartial manner. Army remains apolitical and we hold this core value in letter and spirit.”