Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Urging the opposition to not politicise the affidavit row, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the appointment of General Dalbir Suhag is final.
Responding to the opposition`s demand that VK Singh be removed from the council of ministers for coming out against the government`s affidavit in the apex court on the appointment row.
“We must keep Army appointments out of political realm. As far as government is concerned, the appointment of Army Chief is final,” Jaitely said in Rajya Sabha.
Jaitley took a firm stand after Congress leader Anand Sharma slammed VK Singh. “How can he keep tweeting and make statements? He`s demoralising the forces,” Sharma said.
Sharma also demanded a clarification from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.
After defence ministry`s affidavit in the Supreme Court termed as "illegal" his decision to put a ban on promotion of Army Chief designate Dalbir Suhag, Singh took to twitter to resister his protest.
Singh is Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs in the Modi cabinet.
The affidavit, in a promotion case related to Lt Gen Ravi Dastane, said the alleged lapses which were made as grounds to impose disciplinary ban on Suhag were "premeditated", "vague" and "illegal".
However, Singh has justified his action, as army chief, to impose Discipline and Vigilance(DV) ban on Suhag for an alleged botched up military intelligence operation by a unit under him.
"If unit kills innocents, does dacoity and then head of organization tries to protect them, should he not be blamed? Criminals should go free!!," Singh tweeted.
The former Army Chief`s comments came against the backdrop of reports that a unit under Lt General Dalbir Suhag had allegedly carried out killings and daocities in the North East region.
Latching on to the affidavit, Congress spokesperson Abishek Singhvi sought the resignation of V K Singh, saying that the NDA government`s affidavit in the Supreme Court on the issue of Army vice chief Dalbir Singh Suhag`s promotion was an expression of "no confidence" in him.
Singh had a running battle with the UPA II government over a controversy on his date of birth.
Incidentally, he is the first minister whose resignation is sought by the Opposition since the BJP government was formed a fortnight ago.
The Defence Ministry, meanwhile, said it has adhered to its stand taken earlier on the issue related to imposition of Discipline and Vigilance(DV) ban on Suhag by Gen Singh.
In his other tweet, V K Singh asked," MOD affidavit same as it gave to AFT(Armed Forces Tribunal) under protective and conniving UPA, so what is new folks?"
In yet another tweet, he attacked Singhvi saying, "All who got carried away by Singhvi`s tirade. "Chhaj to bole so bole who chhalni kya bole jismen1800 chhed" (pot calling the kettle black)."
Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has demanded that whoever filed the affidavit must be held accountable.
With agency inputs