New Delhi: Army chief Gen VK Singh, whose
date of birth was mired in a huge controversy, has alleged
that a "lot of money" was spent by people within the force to
get a "false" birth certificate and tarnish his image as he
had stopped their wrongdoings.
He said he had evidence that people within the Army were
behind the "derogatory and completely fake" stories against
him and action was being taken against them.
"A lot of people went on a drive to tarnish my image
because they were not happy with the cleansing action I had
taken. You will be suprised to know the amount of money which
was spent to get the false certificate about by date of
birth," Gen Singh told `The Week` magazine.
Asked who was spending the money to defame him, he
responded, "There were a large number of people. A lot of
money was given to a lot of people to do stories against me.
The stories were derogatory and completely fake."
When pointed out that one retired Lt General has already
been accused of plotting against him, he said, "He was not the
only one. We have identified a number of people."
He said, "We have evidence of how documents were leaked
and how much money was given" and that they were within the
Queried whether he was surprised that serving officers
were working against him, the Army Chief said, "In a large
organisation like ours, you will always have people who feel
left out. There were people who were doing wrong things but
after we stopped those things, they turned against me."
"We have evidence and necessary action is being taken,"
Gen Singh said, adding, "If someone has betrayed the Army,
there will be punishment. This is the rule of the Army."
Gen Singh was mired in a huge controversy over his date
of birth. The Army`s two branches -- Adjutant General Branch
and Military Secretary Branch -- had two sets of dates of his
birth -- one having May 10, 1951 and another May 10, 1950.
He always maintained that his actual year of birth was
1951, which would give him nine-month extension from May-end
this year, and dragged the government to the Supreme Court on
this. However, he lost the legal battle there and will hence
retire in May.
Asked about his relationship with Defence Minister AK
Antony, the Army chief said, "He was always good to me" and
"there has never been a single difference" between them.
"I was plain-spoken with him and he appreciated that,"
Gen Singh said.
Whether that relationship was good despite the bugging
controversy, he asserted that there was no bugging.
"The fact is that our team came across some discrepancies
while checking the Defence Minister`s room on February 16," he
said, adding Director General of Military Intelligence then
informed Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma about it and
recommended to him to seek the help of other agencies to
verify why there were discrepancies.
"If the suspicion was on the military, the Defence
Minister would have stopped MI (military intelligence) from
checking his room. We still conduct checking of his room."