Congress MP from Kerala TN Prathapan has appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind to remove Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat from his post for his comments about ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, The Indian Express reported on Monday. In a letter on Friday, the legislator from Thrissur district accused Rawat of violating the code of conduct for defence personnel.

Commenting on violence during the protests, Rawat had said at an event in Delhi on Thursday: “As we are witnessing in large number of universities and colleges, students the way they are leading masses and crowds to carry out arson and violence in cities and towns. This is not leadership.” He added that true leaders lead people in the right direction.

Prathapan claimed Rawat had “crossed all limits” and voiced his political opinion on behalf of a “few fascist political organisations”. “I humbly appeal your Excellency to immediately withdraw the service of Mr Bipin Rawat from the post of Army chief and take serious stringent disciplinary actions against him, in the interest of justice,” the MP urged the president. He also highlighted Article 33 (power of Parliament to modify the rights conferred by this part in their application) of Constitution and relevant sections from the Army Act 1950, Navy Act 1957 and Defence Service Regulations for Air Force.

The Congress leader said the Citizenship Amendment Act was a “legalised celebration of fascist forces systematically dehumanising and discriminating Muslim population of India”, Deccan Herald reported. He added that the law was against the idea of India and Constitution.

On Saturday, Congress leader P Chidambaram hit out at Rawat, saying “you head the Army and mind your business”. He added that it was not the business of the armed forces to tell political leaders what to do “just as it is not our business to tell you how to fight a war”. Several other leaders from the Opposition also criticised the Army chief, with many reminding Rawat of the limits of his office.

However, Union minister and former Army chief VK Singh defended Rawat, asking the Opposition not to politicise everything. Singh served as the 23rd chief of the Army staff from 2010 to 2012.