More than a week before defence minister AK Antony rejected the army chief’s statutory complaint on his date of birth controversy last month, General VK Singh told defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma that he was being treated by the ministry as if he was the chief of Pakistan army.
Sharma had dropped in at the army chief’s office on December 21, 2011 to ask him what his plans on the age issue were.
Top government sources said the army chief made it clear to the defence secretary that the age issue was only related to his honour as the leader of the 1.1-million strong army and had nothing to do with an extra year in office, which he would get if Antony accepted May 10, 1951 as his date of birth.
Two dates of birth exist in army records for the army chief: May 10, 1950 and 1951.
Even though Antony rejected Gen Singh’s statutory complaint, the army chief met finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who advised him against moving court.
The Prime Minister and the national security advisor are also in the loop on the matter.
Gen Singh till now has no intentions of taking his age issue to the court, but sources said the he was feeling humiliated by a “section of the defence ministry”. He told Sharma that he was being painted as a villain by the ministry.
The chief has already had some three meetings with the key interlocutors and had met Mukherjee immediately after Antony had rejected the statutory complaint.
The government is trying hard to find a civilian solution to the crisis so that there is no division in the Indian Army.