Army Chief General VK Singh on Wednesday declined to comment on Lt Gen Tejinder Singh’s complaint to the Defence Minister in the defamation row, saying that raising voice against corruption is everybody’s movement and controversies did not concern him ever in his service to the nation as Chief of Army Staff (COAS). He also said that there was no misunderstanding between the Army and Ministry of Defence (MoD).
“There is no misunderstanding between the Army and MOD. Whatever we say it is listened to, there are procedures. Raksha Mantri is clear headed in supporting the armed forces,” he said.
Talking about his journey as Army Chief, he said, “I want to be remembered as a soldier and as somebody who tried to uphold what Army stands for. Most important target was transformation of Army, change in mindset. It can’t be done in 1 or 2 years, it will take at least 20 years. We have started the journey,” Gen Singh told reporters after attending his last major function in official capacity at Khadakvasla near Pune. Gen Singh retires from office on Thursday.
“I don’t want to comment on what Lt Gen Tejinder Singh has done. He can go to any depths. This is not a forum to castigate him. Army is apolitical, secular and impartial. Raising voice against corruption is everybody’s movement,” he added.
Talking about Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag who was issued a show cause notice, he said, “Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag asked for extention and his request has been acceded to. Anybody who does injustice is wrong, anybody who accepts injustice is wrong.”
Lt Gen Suhag was issued the show cause notice on May 19 for censure on account of lapses in handling a failed intelligence operation in Assam last year and was given seven days’ time to reply. As per the new directions, Lt Gen Suhag will now have to reply to the notice by June 10.
Addressing reporters at his last major function as Army Chief, Gen VK Singh said modernisation would help the forces further build their capacity.
He was replying to questions at a press conference after the National Defence Academy (NDA) passing out parade at Khadakvasla near Pune.
“All three units of the armed forces, in whichever condition they are, are fully prepared to face any challenge,” Gen Singh said.
“As they modernise, they will add to their capacity,” he said.
The Army Chief was at the centre of a controversy when a letter, written by him to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pointing out lack of ammunition with the army, was leaked to the media.
Earlier, addressing the cadets, the army chief stressed on upholding moral and ethical values.
“You should lead by the respect of the people you command. A correct mix of moral and ethical values is needed. Never let personal gains override your professional duty and responsibility. It’s the harder right than the easier wrong that you have to pursue. Today, when India is surging high, there are exciting times ahead. You will lead the future,” he said.