Govt lacked statecraft to deal with Army chief age row: Jaitley

Govt lacked statecraft to deal with Army chief age row: Jaitley

Gen Singh had moved the SC against govt's rejection of his claim on his date of birth.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley today criticised the UPA government for “not showing statecraft” in dealing with the age row involving army chief General V K Singh.

“The government should have shown some statecraft to sort out the issue behind closed doors,” the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said at the ‘Express Adda’ interaction organised by the Indian Express Group here.

Gen Singh had on Monday moved the Supreme Court against the government’s rejection of his claim on his date of birth.

“This should not have been allowed to precipitate for so long. Intervention at the highest level should have taken place earlier,” he said.


Jaitley also accused the Congress of unleashing a divisive agenda in Uttar Pradesh.

“The minority quota issue has changed governance agenda. As per the Mandal Commission quota for backward castes exists cutting across all religions,” he added.

On the induction of tainted former Uttar Pradesh Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha in the BJP,Jaitley said the former BSP leader was admitted in the party by party president Nitin Gadkari after consultations with some people.

“Correctives were done immediately because we are more vulnerable from within than outside,” he said.

On BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate for the next general elections,he said the party had several efficient leaders all over the country. “Decision will be taken at an appropriate time to chose first among the equals,” he said,adding that the BJP was different from family-owned political parties.

Commenting on the proposed institution of Lokpal,Jaitley said it should not be above the Government.

“Governance needs a deterrent. People need to be held accountable. Lokpal should be an institution which keeps a watchful eye and takes action whenever necessary,” he added.

Asked why he has not contested elections yet,the BJP leader said he has always been asked to manage elections.

“I hope some day the party will give me ticket to contest,” he quipped.