New Delhi, Jan 5: BJP today slammed the government over the age controversy of Army Chief General V K Singh, saying the matter should not have come into the public domain and the Manmohan Singh dispensation should have dealt with it expeditiously within closed doors.
”This is a case which reflects that government has taken leave of statecraft. An issue involving the army chief should have been sorted out expeditiously and within closed doors,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters.
General Singh and the Ministry of Defence have been involved in a tussle for the last several months over the former's date of birth and his retirement. While Singh maintains that his date of birth is May 10, 1951 the government has said it is May 10, 1950 as per its records.
BJP, which had been silent all along on this issue, spoke for the first time today on the matter.
”The country cannot allow to have it prolonged and in the public domain. We only wish the government had realised the implication of prolonging the issue,” Jaitley said.
The government has indicated that General Singh may have to retire in May this year itself. There are reports that the search for his successor has already begun and Lieutenent General Bikram Singh is the front-runner.