Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said the military “should be somehow” kept out of politics, PTI reported.

“Whenever any issue of linking any military establishment or military personnel where political entity comes in then...that is best avoided,” Rawat said at an event organised by the United Service Institution in New Delhi.

His statements come days after reports said that the Centre was unhappy with him for confirming that Indian troops had ventured into Myanmar in 2015 in a cross-border raid against rebels of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland.

Rawat on Wednesday said the military in India operated in a secular environment. “We have a very vibrant democracy where the military should stay far away from the polity,” he said.

Asked about the criticism that followed the decision to deploy the Army to build foot overbridges in Mumbai’s railway stations after a stampede at the Elphinstone Road station in October, Rawat said the armed forces followed a charter of aid to help out civilians in times of crises.