A day after the Government, in which he is a Minister, termed his last actions as Army Chief against Lt Gen Dalbir Singh as “illegal”, “extraneous” and “premeditated,” Minister of State and former Army chief V K Singh hit back by attacking the officer who is now the Army chief designate, accusing him of trying to protect a unit that “kills innocents,” and “does dacoity.”
In a direct attack on Lt Gen Dalbir Singh, who has incidentally been given a go-ahead by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley to take over as the Army Chief on July 31, Singh tweeted: “If unit kills innocents, does dacoity and then head of organization tries to protect them, should he not be blamed? Criminals should go free!!’
Singh is a Minister of State with Development of North Eastern Region (independent charge), External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs as his portfolios.
Taking charge last month, Jaitley had said that there was no objection of the BJP on the officer stated to be the chief. He said that the only objection had been on the propriety of rushing through with the appointment but this was, in no way, meant to reflect on the person (Dalbir Singh) under consideration.
Singh’s attack came even as the Congress demanded his resignation arguing that the NDA Government’s affidavit in the Supreme Court on the issue of Army vice chief Dalbir Singh Suhag’s promotion as Army commander was a “direct vote of no confidence” against him.
In its affidavit to the Supreme Court on Monday, the Ministry of Defence had defended Suhag’s promotion and described the disciplinary ban on him by Singh as Army chief as “illegal”, “extraneous” and “premeditated”. It also said the the disciplinary proceedings against Suhag between April and May 2012 by Singh was “without any basis or material on record”.
When told about Singh’s remarks against the Army chief designate, Government spokesman and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar declined to comment.
The Congress stepped up its attack. “After this vote of no confidence by the Government in a solemnly sworn affidavit against its own member of its council of ministers, is it possible for the minister in the union council of continue...I don’t think in any view of the matter that the member of the council of ministers can continue. It is a matter of detail whether he is removed or resigns,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
V K Singh tweeted in reply: “All