Underlining the “faster pace” of growth of Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF in Assam, Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat has raised concern over the changing “population dynamics” in the northeastern state.
Rawat, while talking about illegal migrants from Bangladesh, 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," he said in a seminar on the northeast at DRDO Bhavan on Wednesday.
Badruddin Ajmal took strong objection to the "shocking" remarks.
"We respect General Bipin Rawat a lot but I think he has been misinformed and misguided," the AIUDF chief said in a press meet at Guwahati.
"People say we are a Muslim party, a notion which is false. We have always given 20-25 seats to our Hindu brothers in all elections. Muslims brothers had also laid down their lives for the freedom struggle. We are Indians. Let us live with the dignity of an Indian," he said.
If Army chief is saying that demographic change is happening in Assam then it is the government's job to check it. We are the only party which said that shoot anyone who infiltrate into our borders: AIUDF Chief Badruddin Ajmal in Guwahati pic.twitter.com/r9DyU426Rp
— ANI (@ANI) February 22, 2018
Have asked for time to meet from the President, PM & Home Minister. Our MLA delegation will meet & clarify our position. Whenever I meet HM, he meets me warmly and addresses me as 'Badruddin Bhai'. If we were anti-national would he welcome me: Badruddin Ajmal, AIUDF pic.twitter.com/MiX1OHsuzh
— ANI (@ANI) February 22, 2018
Earlier, reacting to the Army Chief's comments on his party, Badruddin Ajmal has accused Bipin Rawat of making a political statement.
"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 & secular values, is rising faster than BJP? Alternative parties like AIUDF, AAP have grown because of the misgovernance of big parties," Badruddin Ajmal had tweeted.
"By making such statement, isn't the Chief of Army Staff indulging into politics which is against the constitutional mandate given to him," he added.
— M Badruddin Ajmal (@BadruddinAjmal) February 22, 2018
He also urged the President Ram Nath Kovind and the Prime Minister's Office to "take note" of Bipin Rawat's remarks.
However, the Army said there was nothing political or religious in Bipin Rawat's comments.
"There is nothing political or religious in the talk. The Army Chief just mentioned amalgamation and development in the seminar," the Army said.
Badruddin 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."
Talking to the media AIUDF leader Aminul Islam said AIUDF is growing faster than BJP because it is working for the downtrodden.