Says Cong hasn’t been good for the armed forces

New Delhi : The Congress has not been a good party for the armed forces, former army chief Gen (retd) V K Singh has said.

In an interview with CNN-IBN, Gen Singh said he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party as he was convinced about the need to be part of the political system to bring about a change.  Gen Singh, who joined the BJP last week, described the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, as a doer.

“When I looked at various things… and especially the resignation by the naval chief convinced me… that if we want to change something, I think it is important to get on to a political platform,” he said.  “By remaining outside, I have seen in these two years, nothing seems to be happening.”  He said some of the issues raised by him appeared close to those being raised by the BJP, as the opposition party was pointing out faults in the system.

He said the Congress-led government had not been able to meet the requirements of the armed forces concerning equipment.  “Let me make a statement. So far as the armed forces are concerned, the Congress Party has not been a good party.  It has not been a good party because a lot of things which the forces wanted, whether it was the commissions, whether it was the way the equipments should have been done, whether it was the protocols, Congress has always tried to be against the forces if I can say so,” Gen. Singh was quoted as saying in a press release.

He also said the United Progressive Alliance government’s decision on “one rank, one pension” was “vote-bank politics.”  “Today, you suddenly wake up and say these people have been agitating, so let’s give them a lollipop. Oh, we accept the principle. That’s it. You accepted this principle 26 years back.”  Gen Singh had a row with the government concerning his age during his term as army chief.  He also said he would contest the Lok Sabha elections if the BJP asks him to do so. “I have got pan-India acceptability. I can campaign in the northeast, I can campaign in the south, I can campaign anywhere, it doesn’t make any difference.”                           –PTI

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