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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Congress MP asks President to sack Army Chief Bipin Rawat over CAA protest remarks

General Bipin Rawat had criticised those at the head of the anti-CAA protests, saying they were “leading masses”, including university and college students, to carry out arson and violence in cities.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 30, 2019 4:27:15 pm
Bipin Rawat, army chief, Bipin Rawat CAA remarks, Bipin Rawat citizenship protests, Bipin Rawat last day army chief, citizenship protests, CAA protests today General Bipin Rawat will retire on December 31 as Army Chief. (File)

Congress MP from Thrissur TN Prathapan has shot off a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to sack Army Chief General Bipin Rawat for wading into the political sphere by criticising people leading protests against the amended Citizenship law. Incidentally, General Bipin Rawat will retire on December 31 and will be replaced by Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane as the next Army chief.

Asserting that General Bipin Rawat had violated the code of conduct for defence personnel, Prathapan said stringent disciplinary actions should be initiated against the Army chief.

“In view of this very serious breach of discipline, on part of the Arny chief, I humbly appeal your excellency to immediately withdraw the service of General Bipin Rawat prom the post of Army Chief and take serious and stringent appropriate disciplinary actions against him in the interest of justice,” the letter said.

At a health summit in New Delhi last week, General Bipin Rawat criticised those at the head of the anti-CAA protests, saying they were “leading masses”, including university and college students, to carry out arson and violence in cities, and this did not amount to leadership.

“Leaders are not those who lead people in inappropriate directions, as we are witnessing in a large number of universities and college students… the way they are leading masses of crowds to carry out arson and violence in our cities and towns. This is not leadership. Even amongst the crowd, you find leaders… But leaders are those who lead people in the right direction,” Rawat, seen as the front-runner for the newly created post of Chief of Defence Staff, had said.

The Congress MP further said the Army Chief had crossed all limits by giving his political opinion on behalf of a “few fascist political organisations” of the country. “This is nothing less than grave disciplinary latches and violations of code of conduct and various defence service regulations,” he wrote.

General Bipin Rawat has come under fire for his remarks from the Opposition. While Congress leaders accused him of undermining civil-military relations, the CPM asked whether India is going the Pakistan way of “politicising the military”.

On Saturday, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said it is not the business of the Army to tell politicians what they should do and that the General should “mind his business”.

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