Clamour to remove Army Chief as MPs ask how letter to PM leaked

The Opposition today attacked Army Chief General V K Singh for “gross indiscipline”.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 28, 2012 11:42:37 pm

The Opposition today attacked Army Chief General V K Singh for “gross indiscipline”,with the Janata Dal (United),RJD and others demanding his dismissal over a letter written by him to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the poor state of defence preparedness.

The fact that the contents of the letter had appeared in the media was “disturbing” and “serious”,the MPs said in the Rajya Sabha,demanding action against those responsible. Defence Minister A K Antony assured that “appropriate action” would be taken on the letter getting leaked. Sources said a discreet inquiry is underway.

Antony also met the Prime Minister to discuss the issue. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma were present at the meeting.

Trouble began as soon as House proceedings started,with the BJP-led Opposition asking the government to confirm whether such a letter had indeed been written,and its response to it. “What action has the government taken?” senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu asked.

JD (U) member Shivanand Tiwari said the Army Chief should be removed. “The way he is talking to the press… this is gross indiscipline,” he said.

With the House in uproar,Antony confirmed that the PM had received the letter on March 12,and said it was “under the consideration of the Ministry of Defence”. “Regarding the letter of the Army Chief to the PM,which he (Army Chief) said is a top-secret letter,I am aware of the letter. It should not have come out,the government will respond to it appropriately,” the minister said.

While Antony urged that issues of such nature not be made “a matter of public debate”,Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley too expressed concern over the letter getting leaked.

Demanding prompt action,BJD MP Pyari Mohan Mahapatra said people who “are to be sacked should be sacked” immediately.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App