‘Army’s sheen lost, age row vitiated environment’

Gen JJ Singh stated that the insinuations against him in the age row has "deeply appalled and angered him".

New Delhi: The Army lost a lot of its sheen and the environment became "vitiated" due to the "unsavory" age row episode involving former Army Chief General V K Singh, says his predecessor General (retd) JJ Singh.

In his first comments on the controversy over Gen Singh`s age issue, Gen JJ Singh also rejected as "malicious and incorrect" comments made against him regarding an alleged "succession plan" in the Army.

In his autobiography `A Soldier`s General`, General JJ Singh, presently the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, said the age issue which dogged Gen Singh`s tenure should have been handled with "utmost discretion, sans the unsavoury media hype".

"What is certain is that the organization that we cherish so much has lost a lot of its sheen," he wrote in the autobiography which was released by Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh here recently.

Stating that the insinuations against him in the age row has "deeply appalled and angered him", Singh wrote, "This entire episode has left a sour taste and vitiated the environment of the Army in particular and the ripple effect has been felt by the Navy and Air Force too."

On the controversy and comments such as that of "succession plan", he said, "These (comments) are loaded with dangerous portents that can play havoc with the secular and apolitical fabric of the great institution that we have given the best part our lives to, and also cause incalculable harm to the nation as well."

On the issue of not expressing his views on the matter so far, Gen Singh said, "I had so far maintained a stoic silence on the unfortunate controversy as the matter was sub-judice."

"Comments made against me recently that this issue was raked up by me in 2006 with a `succession plan` and parochial agenda in mind are preposterous, malicious and incorrect," the General added.