Prime Minister Manmohan Singh avoided comment on the Army Chief General VK Singh withdrawing his age row petition in the Supreme Court, while the defence ministry welcomed it and said the matter has been put to rest.
“This is a matter that is before court and I would not like to comment on it,” the Prime Minister told reporters at the India-EU summit here. The BJP, however, called “sad” the entire issue being dragged to court, adding that the government, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, were responsible for this.
“It is a sad incident...An issue which could have been resolved sitting within closed doors has now been dragged in the open before the public. We hold the Centre, the prime minister and Sonia Gandhi responsible for the incident,” said BJP national vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
He said the issue “raised questions on the functioning and running of the Central government...It is a dangerous thing that even such a row involving the the army chief has been dragged into public domain. This is due to the mishandling and wrong policies of the government.”
But the Congress downplayed the issue even while obliquely suggesting that the matter was closed.
Party leader Renuka Chowdhury said, “As a citizen of country, I am happy that government and the army are working in consonance. The honour of the country and the armed forces is utmost.” When asked specifically what she thought about the army chief’s moving court, she said, “This was his individual choice for whatever reasons.”