India Political News

Ajmal hits back at Army chief for ‘political statement’

Ajmal’s party now has three members in the Lok Sabha and 13 MLAs in

MP Maulana Badruddin Ajmal on ThNursday criticised General Bipin Rawat for undermining his party, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and urged President Ram Nath Kovind to take note of the Army Chief’s “political statement”.

At a seminar on ‘North East Region of India — Bridging Gaps and Securing Borders’ In New Delhi on Wednesday, General Rawat referred to the AIUDF’s growth in Assam as faster than that of the BJP.

Touching upon the change in Assam’s demography, General Rawat said: “There is a party called AIUDF… 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.”

Mr. Ajmal, a perfume baron, had formed the AIUDF in 2005. His party now has three members in the Lok Sabha and 13 MLAs in the 126-member Assam Assembly.

“The General has made a shocking political statement. Why is it the Army Chief’s concern that a political party, based on democracy and secular values, is rising faster than the BJP? Alternative parties like AIUDF and AAP have grown because of mis-governance of big parties,” he told reporters here.

The AIUDF chief had earlier tagged President Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet urging them to take note of General Rawat “indulging in politics, which is against the constitutional mandate given to him”.

The Army Chief’s view also stirred the Assembly currently in session. “The government should ban AIUDF if the Army Chief has evidence that the party is behind migration of Muslims from Bangladesh,” Congress MLA Zakir Hussain Sikdar said.

BJP legislator Prasanta Phukan said what General Rawat said was nothing new. “The government is working on checking the demographic invasion,” he said.

Migration from Bangladesh is a touchy issue in Assam. Fear of foreigners eventually overrunning the indigenous communities had sparked a violent agitation from 1979-1985. The agitation ended with the signing of the Assam Accord in August 1985.

Mr. Ajmal formed AIUDF soon after the Supreme Court scrapped the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act of 1983, perceived to have been loaded in favour of illegal immigrants. Current Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had played a major role in getting that “anti-khilonjia (indigenous people)” Act scrapped.

 

News credit: Thehindu

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