As the high-pitched political drama unfolded in Delhi over the alleged suicide of an ex-serviceman over One Rank One Pension (OROP), Union Minister VK Singh today triggered a controversy when he said the "mental state" of the army veteran needed to be probed before drawing conclusions about his extreme action.
"He has committed suicide. No one knows the reason behind it. OROP is being shown as the reason. What his mental state was we do not know. Let it be probed first," Singh told reporters, while reacting to alleged suicide by army veteran Ram Kishan Grewal.
The former Army Chief said it would be better if OROP is kept away from politics.
“OROP should be kept away from politics, it will be better. Rahul Gandhi should not politicise this,” he said.
He went on to state that the Centre had accepted the long-pending demands of the agitating veterans and there was no need to get into "what one is saying for 4 paisa."
Singh's comments drew sharp reactions from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Congress.
"Shame on u VK Singh. He twice got medals from President and once from COAS. He was a decorated soldier," Kejriwal tweeted.
Senior Congress leader RPN Singh said it was "unbecoming" of a former army chief to bring the mental state of a deceased veteran into question.
"It is unfortunate that a former army chief is raising such questions," the former Union Minister said.
The 70-year-old ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal from Haryana's Bhiwani district ended his life in the lawns behind the Jawahar Bhavan, which houses the Ministry of External Affairs, last evening.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia were detained by the police when they tried to meet the family of the deceased ex-soldier.