The Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s statement on faster growth of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), than BJP made it to the headlines on Thursday. While many leaders reacted openly to it, the Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman refused to react when questioned about army chief’s comment on the rise of Muslim oriented political party in North East.
The defence minister was at Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit, where when asked to comment on Rawat’s remark said “I don’t want to react to anything… Somebody said something, somebody talking about… why should I react?”
The army chief Bipin Rawat on 21st February was at a conference on “Bridging gaps and securing borders in the North East” in Delhi where he made the controversial statement “There is a party AIUDF. If you look at it, they have grown in a faster time frame than the BJP grew over the years.”
AIUDF, formed in 2005, is a political party active in Assam and has its three members in parliament and 13 legislatures in Assam assembly. AIUDF president, Badaruddin Ajmal, in response to Army chief’s remark, questioned if army chief is “indulging in politics” which is against his code of conduct.
The leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Gulab Nabi Azad, called it centre’s move to distract from the PNB scam and said “I would not like to comment on this. But I would simply say that in the coming days you will get to hear many outrageous things. For diverting the attention, they would do anything because now PNB fraud has caught the attention of the entire nation.”
The army also made a cover to the chief’s statement saying there was nothing controversial and that he had just mentioned “amalgamation and development.”