Army chief appointment is final, says Jaitley

Army chief appointment is final, says Jaitley

Seeking to put an end to the fresh row triggered by Union Minister V K Singh’s remarks, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday asserted that Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag’s appointment was final and urged the Congress against politicising the issue.

“As far as the government is concerned, appointment (of Lt Gen Suhag as Army Chief) is final and the government stands by it,” Jaitley said in the Rajya Sabha. His statement came when Congress Deputy Leader Anand Sharma raised the issue of certain tweets posted by Singh against Army Chief-designate Suhag.

The Congress on Tuesday had demanded the resignation of Singh by citing an affidavit the Centre had filed in the Supreme Court, accusing him of placing roadblocks in the promotion of Suhag.

Jaitley is also learnt to have questioned defence ministry officials why the affidavit was not shown to him before being sent to the Supreme Court.

“If unit kills innocents, does dacoity and then head of organisation tries to protect them, should he not be blamed? Criminals should go free!!” Singh had said on microblogging site “Twitter” seeking to justify his action against Suhag.

“MoD affidavit same as it gave to AFT under protective and conniving UPA, so what is new folks?” he had posted in another tweet.

“It has been a practice in this country that we keep some issues outside the realm of party politics and, therefore, keeping various standards of political maturity in mind, all of us, not only the government, must keep the army and its appointments out of this arena and stand by this appointment. The government is also fully defending it,” Jaitley said.

Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha, Sharma questioned how Singh was making “repeated statements and tweets” even as Jaitley himself had put the issue to rest after taking charge as the Defence Minister.

“Repeated tweets and statements made by V K Singh are unacceptable and highly objectionable. He is demoralising the forces, he should be dismissed,” he said. The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by Congress deputy leader Amarinder Singh.

“The language used by him in the tweet is highly derogatory. The government has chosen an army chief, to call him a criminal, and to call the men under him dacoits. I hope the government is taking note of it and he will be dismissed from the council of ministers,” Amarinder Singh said.

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