Srinagar: Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday criticised General Bipin Rawat’s remarks on the rise of Maulana Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) in the state and said no Army Chief should indulge in making comments on political parties, The Indian Express reported.
“Since Independence, I’ve never seen an Army Chief making a comment on political parties. The Army’s main role is to maintain the security of the country and repulse any attack by the enemies of the country,” Gogoi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The former CM added, “It is not their (Army’s) business to look into the political affairs.”
The Congress leader also said that Army general or chiefs should be allowed to enter politics only after a gap of five years following their retirement. “After retirement, no chief or general of Army should be allowed to join politics for five years, they can do so after five years,” Gogoi said.
On Wednesday, Rawat had said the “population dynamics” of the north-east region can no longer be changed. “There is a party called AIUDF, if you look at… they have grown in a faster time-frame than the BJP has grown over the years. When we talk of Jan Sangh with two Members of Parliament and where they have reached, AIUDF is moving at a faster pace in the state of Assam. Finally, what will be the state of Assam, we will have to take a call,” he said.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi also hit out at the Army General and said it was not the latter’s work to comment on the rise of a political party.
However, Union minister V K Singh on Friday sought to defend Rawat’s remarks. “See, we have a habit of politicising everything. Let the Army chief say what he wants to. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it. That’s it,” Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Mumbai.