New Delhi: Caught in a row over his age,
Army Chief Gen VK Singh on Thursday said the issue related to his
"integrity and honour" but would desist from "vitiating" the
atmosphere even as the government hoped the controversy would
end as the matter had been dealt with "fairly and justly".
Gen Singh said he had tackled the issue in
"organisational interest" but remained evasive on whether he
would accept the government`s decision according to which he
will have to retire on May 31 this year.
"The issue (of age) has always been, I am emphasising it,
the issue has always been that of integrity and honour," he
said at a press conference when asked about the controversy.
"The issue is that of integrity and honour, right from
the time the issue came to the forefront... This issue has
always been tackled by me in organisational interest," he said
adding the matter would impact only on his family.
Gen Singh had two sets of dates in the official records
-- May 10, 1950 and May 10, 1951, leading to the controversy.
He has been contending that May 10,1951 should be treated
as his actual date of birth as it was mentioned in his 10th
certificate but the Defence Ministry has rejected it as May
10, 1950 is the date entered in his UPSC entrance form.
"It is an issue on which I will desist from answering
anything for the simple reason that the issue is, somebody has
gone to the court and all kind of speculations are going on
and there is no point in vitiating the way things are," he
Home Minister P Chidambaram later said, "We are unhappy
that the controversy should have erupted but I am hopeful that
the controversy will be resolved... The matter has been dealt
with fairly and justly by the ministry concerned."
At the same time, he said, "We hold the Army Chief in
great respect. He is a fine soldier. He has done remarkable
service to the country."