Indian army chief’s comments kick up row

Indian army chief Gen Bipin Rawat’s (pictured) comments on the rapid rise of a pro-migrant party in the northeast region and the influx of Bangladeshis engineered by Pakistan with China’s support sparked a political debate on Thursday. Badruddin Ajmal, president of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), said the army chief’s comment that his party is moving at a faster pace than BJP in Assam was political and inappropriate. Main opposition parties jumped at the opportunity to attack Gen Rawat and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Some said the General should better retire and take a plunge into politics. The army defended their General saying there is nothing political or religious in his talk. He was speaking from the point of view of national security. Without naming Pakistan or China, Gen Rawat said the proxy game is well played by India’s western neighbour (Pakistan) supported by its northern neighbour (China) to keep the northeast region disturbed. AIUDF is changing the population dynamics of the region by supporting migration from Bangladesh. BJP legislator of Assam Prasanta Phukan said there is nothing new in what General Rawat said adding the government is working on checking the “demographic invasion”. Gen Rawat made the comments while speaking at a seminar on ‘North East region of India — Bridging gaps and securing borders’ in New Delhi on Wednesday.