After Field Marshall KM Cariappa, General (Retired) VK Singh is the first Army chief to contest elections, who has been pitted against Congress nominee Raj Babbar and AAP pick Shazia Ilmi from Ghaziabad constituency by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Olympic silver medalist Colonel (Retired) Rajya Vardhan Singh Rathore would be battling it out from the Jaipur Rural seat on a BJP ticket.

BC Khanduri, who retired from the rank of Lieutenant General, served as a Union Minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government and was later made the chief minister of Uttarakhand.

Alongside BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also given tickets to several ex-servicemen for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

AAP has given ticket to Lt Gen (Retired) Raj Kadyan from Jhunjhunu constituency. AAP had also given ticket to former commando Surendra Singh, who was severely injured in the ghastly 26/11 Mumbai attacks while dealing with terrorists, in last year’s Delhi assembly elections. Singh had won from the Delhi Cantt seat.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led party has also allotted a ticket to the mother of Captain Vikram Batra, who had laid his life for the nation during Kargil war, from the Hamirpur seat in Himachal Pradesh.

Congress might not be able to brag about new names from army background but they have an arsenal of senior leaders, who had served in the armed forces in the past.

Apart from these, there are more than two dozen ex-servicemen who are seeking a win in the upcoming general elections on the ticket of several other political parties.

Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement head Major General (Retired) Satbir Singh believes that the presence of so many veteran army personnel in the poll battle this time around is a healthy sign and it should be encouraged.

Talent, leadership skills and discipline of an army man are some of the virtues that should be embraced by politicians, he added.

Even experts have claimed that the presence of armed personnel in any government would help build better relationships between the army fraternity and civilians of the nation.

(JPN/Bureau)

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