New Delhi: Amid a media hyperbole over the issue, Army Chief General VK Singh has chosen to play down the controversy surrounding his date of birth by denying any confrontation with the government.
As per a newspaper report, Thursday, Singh said that he is committed to work for the organisation and that he has not yet thought of moving court over the matter.
The dispute over Gen Singh’s age has arisen as he has two dates of birth — May 10, 1950 and May 10, 1951 — mentioned at various places in his official records.
The biggest implication is that the year of birth will determine when the Army chief will retire. According to the defence ministry’s stand, this would be in 2012. If it had accepted Gen Singh’s claim, his tenure would have stretched to 2013.
“There is no rift, there is no confrontation. I have always felt that the government has appointed you and you will work for the organisation. Where is the row involved in this?” Gen Singh was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Importantly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said to have backed the Defence Minister AK Antony’s tand on the issue. After a meeting between the two, yesterday, the cabinet committee on security (CCS) discussed threadbare and decided to back the defence ministry’s stand.
The age row which had been brewing for a while came to boil last week after defence ministry, armed with legal opinion from the attorney general rejected Gen Singh’s statutory complaint to settle the dispute over his age.
Gen Singh later wrote to the defence minister and maintained that it is the question of his “honour and dignity”.
The whole issue turned political after former Punjab chief minister and state Congress president Captain (retd.) Amarinder Singh has batted for Gen Singh and said that he backed the Army Chief`s fight for his honour and for upholding his integrity and that the controversy was affecting the morale of the 1.13-million strong Army.