Thiruvanathapuram/Hyderabad: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday came down heavily on Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who had recently criticised people leading violent protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act, asking him to "mind his business."
The former union minister was speaking at the 'Maha Rally' against the new Act, organised by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) in front of Raj Bhavan here.
He also alleged that the Army Chief and the Director General of Police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh had been asked to support the government and it was a 'shame'.
Taking strong exception to General Rawat's comments on "domestic politics," senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the situation in the country would deteriorate if the so-called trend of politicisation vis-a-vis armed forces continued.
".. the government's allegation is that protests are violent. PM said and Army Chief also said. He is not concerned with the internal politics. This is the for the first time in independent India, the Army Chief, the highest authority in uniform, is giving his views on domestic politics," he said.
Critisising the anti-CAA protests, General Rawat had recently said the leadership was not about guiding masses, including students, to carry out arson and violence.
"Leaders are not those who lead people in inappropriate directions, as we are witnessing in a large number of university and college students, the way they are leading masses of crowds to carry out arson and violence in our cities and towns.
"Now, the Army General is being asked to speak up. Is it the job of the Army General?" Chidambaram asked.
"The DGP... the Army General are being asked to support the government. It is a shame. Let me appeal to General Rawat. You head the Army and mind your business... what politicians will do, politicians will do."
Attacking Rawat over his remarks, Yechury said, "This is politicisation happening (in) armed forces. A dangerous trend. If it continues, ours will also deteriorate, like the role of Army in Pakistan."
It is necessary for the country and the Constitution to consider the "warning," he said and appealed to the government to keep it in consideration.
"But, ministers, government have given statements in (news) papers that our Army Chief has done nothing wrong and not interfered (in domestic issues)," the CPI(M) General Secretary said.