Clamour for action against V.K. Singh grows (Lead)

March 29th, 2012 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) The chorus for strong action against army chief Gen. V.K. Singh grew louder Thursday following reports that he had sought a CBI probe on graft allegations against a serving officer based on a letter written by a Trinamool Congress MP.

While the BJP voiced doubts on the timing of the army chief’s disclosure, the RJD said Singh has lost people’s confidence and demanded his sacking.

The army chief, who had taken on the government over his age and whose letter to the prime minister on shortcomings in the forces has triggered outrage, opened a fresh front by forwarding a letter written a year ago by Trinamool MP Ambika Banerjee against Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

While the Left said it wants the government to investigate the matter to ascertain who is behind the leak, United Progressive Alliance partners Trinamool Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party supported the government.

“The complaint of the MP that the army chief has sent to CBI should be probed. The time chosen by the army chief after one year raises questions and doubts on his behaviour,” BJP leader Balbir Punj said.

He demanded a public reply by the army chief on the delay.

“Because the issue became public, he must take the nation in confidence whether after getting the complaint he brought it to the knowledge of the defence minister and prime minister. If he did, what was their response. What was the reason behind the delay,” Punj said.

The letter by the Trinamool MP of May 2011 alleges “procurement scams” in the “secretive” Special Frontier Force (SFF), when Lt Gen Dalbir Singh was its inspector general.

The SFF is under the administrative control of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the country’s premier foreign spy agency.

Hitting out at V.K. Singh, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said: “He (V.K. Singh) has lost his face, no one in the nation will trust him,” and added that he should be sacked.

Another RJD leader Ramkripal Yadav said: “He is out of his mind… I think he is working under some motivation. I want to urge the government that there should be action against him without delay.”

The Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal-United had Wednesday demanded sacking of the army chief after his letter to the prime minister on shortage of ammunition in the forces was leaked to the media.

The Congress, meanwhile, said the issue should be left for the defence ministry to handle.

“The defence minister has said that an appropriate decision will be taken at an appropriate time. We should wait for that. The decision will be conveyed,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said.

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