New Delhi, Feb 22: The Indian Army on Thursday defended its chief General Bipin Rawat's comments about the growth of the AIUDF, a political party in Assam, allegedly because it enjoyed the support of the Muslim population as Pakistan and China were pushing illegal Bangladeshi migrants into India.
AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal took strong objection to the "shocking" remarks.
The Army said there was nothing political or religious in General Rawat's comments made in a seminar on the northeast at DRDO Bhavan on February 21.
"There is nothing political or religious in the talk. The Army Chief just mentioned amalgamation and development in the seminar," the Army said.
"Gen Bipin Rawat has made a political statement, shocking! Why is it a concern for the Army Chief that a political party, based on democratic and secular values, is rising faster than the BJP? Alternative parties like the AIUDF, the AAP have grown because of the misgovernance of big parties," Ajmal tweeted.
Ajmal asked if by making such a statement, the Army Chief was "indulging in politics which is against the constitutional mandate given to him".
He tagged President Ram Nath Kovind (@rashtrapatibhvn) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@PMOIndia) asking them to "please take note" of his tweets.
Ajmal said if the Army was clarifying there was "nothing political" in the General's statement, "why was the Army Chief dragging a political party in his speech, whose representatives are democratically elected by Indian citizens."
In his remarks on Wednesday, the Army chief said Pakistan, with support from China, was pushing illegal migrants from Bangladesh into India though he didn't name the two countries but made his references obvious by calling them India's "western neighbour" and "northern neighbour".
"They will always try and ensure that this area is taken over, playing the proxy dimension of warfare where they do not have to confront a stronger nation through conventional operations.This proxy game is being well played by our western neighbour and supported also by the northern neighbour."
Rawat said the government was looking at the northeast with the right perspective now to make sure that the population dynamics of this region could no longer be changed.
"There is a party called AIUDF. It has grown at a faster rate than the BJP has over the years... The AIUDF is moving at a faster pace in the state of Assam."