VK Singh's controversial tweets rocks Rajya Sabha
VK Singh\'s Controversial Tweets Rocks Rajya Sabha. Ruckus prevailed in the Rajya Sabha for about 45 minutes on Wednesday, with the opposition Congress Party demanding the immediate resignation of Minister of State for External Affairs/Overseas Indian Affairs/Development of North East Region General (retired) V.K.Singh for his controversial tweets defending his action to ban the promotion of army chief designate Dalbir Suhag when he was the army chief.
New Delhi: Ruckus prevailed in the Rajya Sabha for about 45 minutes on Wednesday, with the opposition Congress Party demanding the immediate resignation of Minister of State for External Affairs/Overseas Indian Affairs/Development of North East Region General (retired) V.K.Singh for his controversial tweets defending his action to ban the promotion of army chief designate Dalbir Suhag when he was the army chief.
Proceedings in the Upper House were adjourned for about ten minutes this morning by Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari after the opposition demanded General Singh's resignation.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, addressing the chair after the interval, warned that a dangerous precedent was being set in allowing a minister of an incumbent government to politicise an apolitical institution like the army.
Sharma said that as an individual Gen. Singh had a right and a freedom to make his views on any issue known, but if he was a part of the government and a minister in that government, he had no business to make controversial statements through any medium of information about the armed forces of the country.
Defence Minister and Leader in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said that the NDA Government fully stands by the preceding UPA Government's decision to clear the appointment of Lt. Gen. Suhag as the country's next chief of army staff, and insisted that it was his government's view that such matters, which are sub-judice, be kept out of the realm of statecraft.
In a major embarrassment to the Narendra Modi Government, Jaitley had on Tuesday pulled up defence ministry officials over an affidavit related to Lt. Gen.Suhag, and sought an explanation as to how the affidavit, which criticised Union Minister General (retired) V.K. Singh had landed in the Supreme Court.
The affidavit was filed in response to a plea challenging Lt. Gen.Suhag's appointment, pointing out that the former army chief and now a minister in the government, General Singh, had initiated a disciplinary and vigilance ban (DV) on him. The affidavit said the ban against Lt.Gen. Suhag was without basis.
After the Defence ministry termed as "illegal" his decision to put a ban on promotion of army chief designate Dalbir Suhag, Gen. Singh justified his action.
"If unit kills innocents, does dacoity and then head of organization tries to protect them, should he not be blamed? Criminals should go free!!," he tweeted.
The defence ministry told the Supreme Court in a recent affidavit in a promotion case related to Lt.Gen. Ravi Dastane that the alleged lapses which were made as grounds to impose disciplinary ban on Suhag were "premeditated", "vague" and "illegal".
Gen. Singh's comments came against the backdrop of reports that a unit under Lt. Gen. Suhag had allegedly carried out killings and dacoities in the North East region.
On Tuesday, Congress spokesperson Abishek Manu Singhvi sought the resignation of V.K. Singh, saying that the NDA Government's affidavit in the Supreme Court on the issue of Lt. Gen.Suhag's promotion was an expression of "no confidence" in him.
It maybe recalled that Gen.Singh had a running battle with the UPA II Government over a controversy on his date of birth.
He is the first minister whose resignation has been sought by the Opposition since the NDA Government was formed a fortnight ago.
In his other tweet, V K Singh asked," MOD affidavit same as it gave to AFT (Armed Forces Tribunal) under protective and conniving UPA, so what is new folks?"
In yet another tweet, he attacked Singhvi saying, "All who got carried away by Singhvi's tirade. "Chhaj to bole so bole who chhalni kya bole jismen1800 chhed" (pot calling the kettle black)."
Singh had placed Suhag under a DV ban for an alleged botched up military intelligence operation by a unit under him.