UPA move to appoint next army chief morally incorrect:VK Singh

UPA move to appoint next army chief morally incorrect:VK Singh

Former Army chief and BJP's Lok Sabha candidate V K Singh today attacked the UPA government for its move to appoint the next Army chief, saying it was "morally and ethically" incorrect and the new Cabinet formed after the polls should take a final call on the issue.

In a statement here, General (retd) Singh clarified his stand on the appointment of present chief Gen Bikram Singh's successor, and said his decision to impose a 'discipline and vigilance (DV)' ban on Lt Gen Dalbir Suhag was justified as the court martial had found all the accused guilty.

"The selection process (for Army chief's appointment) is an ongoing business and it should continue, with the final clearance being made by the new Cabinet.

However, there are clear indications that the outgoing UPA government is deliberately speeding up the process in order to arrogate rpt arrogate the decision to itself. This is morally and ethically incorrect," General (retd) Singh, who is the BJP candidate from Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat, said.

On charges that he was raking up the issue of the next chief's appointment as he wanted to favour a particular officer whose son is married to his daughter, the former chief said, "The interest of the organisation and the institutional integrity of the armed forces and the country must come first, every time and always. Who is married to whom is and never was a consideration."

On the issue of the DV ban on Lt Gen Suhag, General (Retd) Singh said, "Though the ban was revoked by my successor arbitrarily, the resultant Court Martial has found all the accused guilty. This by itself vindicates my decision."

The former Army chief had imposed a DV ban on Lt Gen Suhag, then 3 Corps Commander, for the "failure of command and control" as an intelligence unit under him had allegedly carried out dacoity in Jorhat in Assam outside the jurisdiction of the Corps.

He said the ban should have resulted in the elevation of Lt Gen Ravi Dastane as Eastern Army Commander and this makes the "the charge of 'favouritism' on my part laughable and ought to be treated with disdain".

The former Army chief alleged that certain elements both within and outside the government have done "enormous damage to the country and to our armed forces".

The appointment of Admiral Robin Dhowan as Navy chief was an example of how callously the UPA has treated the armed forces, he added. 

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