New Delhi: The Army Chief’s relationship with the government has soured. His decision to write to Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) and ask for an inquiry against a serving general, one who is lined up to replace him when he retires at the end of May.
General VK Singh’s letter to CBI refers to allegations made by a Member of Parliament from Bengal against Lt General Dalbir Singh Suhag. The MP, Ambika Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress, had written nearly 10 months ago to General Singh, alleging corruption in the purchase of defence equipment on Lt General Suhag’s watch when he (then a Major General) was in charge of the Special Frontier Force in Chakrata near Nanital. The Lt General is currently the head of the 3 Corps in Dimapur, Nagaland. He waited for 10 months to take this allegation up. This shows that he is all out to embarrass the government. Besides his writing to CBI directly is also viewed as breach of protocol.
Earlier this week, General Singh said that he was offered a bribe of $ 2.9 billion to approve the purchase of “sub-standard” trucks for the Army. Please see our story: India: Army Chief says he was offered a bribe of $2.9 million.
In a confidential letter written by him to the Prime Minister the General warns of the obsolete equipment that the Army is forced to use, adding that this puts the country’s security at risk. This letter was leaked. Some politicians suggested that the army chief was responsible for the leak which he has denied vigorously.
Even opposition leaders do not want a public debate on any controversies surrounding the country’s security or the Army chief as this might undermine the national security.
Military experts and former army chiefs have referred to the worrying silence over corruption in purchasing equipment for the Army.