New Delhi: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday supported Union minister V.K. Singh amid a row over an affidavit filed by army chief General Dalbir Singh, saying the minister was “continuously being targeted by certain corrupt forces” unhappy over his role in preventing illegal kickbacks in weapons purchase.
The Rajya Sabha MP also urged the government to take steps to protect V.K. Singh, a former army chief, from “this paid slander campaign, since being a minister he cannot defend himself in a slugfest with the present Chief of Army Staff”.
“The DV (Discipline and Vigilance) Ban on the appointment of certain Generals was issued after due process. No COAS (Chief of Army Staff) can issue a DV Ban on a whim. The matter is examined by not just the Vigilance Branch but also by the MoD (Ministry of Defence) at the highest levels. Only after these three bodies recommend the DV Ban can the process be initiated,” Swamy said in a statement here.
“The most recent attempt to slander General Singh (retd) is for the vigilance inquiry ordered against Lt. General D.S. Suhag in May 2012,” the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.
General Dalbir Singh on Thursday briefed Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar about the affidavit, which was originally filed in the Armed Forces Tribunal in 2012, in which he accused former Army chief General V.K. Singh.
In the affidavit, Dalbir Singh said he was “victimised” by Singh “with the sole purpose of denying promotion to the appointment of Army Commander”.
The affidavit had been filed by Dalbir Singh in his “personal capacity” when he was not the army chief, nor was Singh a minister.
The old affidavit was resubmitted by the present army chief after the matter came before the Supreme Court.
V.K. Singh slapped a discipline and vigilance ban on Dalbir Singh between April and May 2012 for alleged “failure of command and control” in an operation in Assam’s Jorhat in 2011.
The ban was lifted in June 2012 after General Bikram Singh succeeded V.K. Singh as the army chief.
Dalbir Singh was then appointed commander of the army’s Eastern Command.