Congress hasn't been good for armed forces: V.K. Singh

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

Former Army General V.K. Singh. Pic: AFP

In an interview with CNN-IBN news channel, Gen. Singh said he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 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."

Gen. Singh 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 has 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."

Asked about the perception that Modi was a dictator, Singh said in his view the Gujarat chief minister had "a vision of development and he (Modi) is a doer".

"Now with these two things, somebody can call him a dictator, somebody can call him any other things what he wants to depending on how you want to see."

Asked if he believes the BJP was the biggest secular party, Gen. Singh said he was not making comments about any party.

"All I am saying is secularism has become a political term. If they abide by what I consider as secular, give respect to all religions equally, then they fit into the bin."

Asked about Anna Hazare, Gen. Singh said he still takes moral strength from the social activist.

He also said national security was a big issue and a large number of players had to be involved in it.

"Where armed forces are concerned, a lot of things need to be ironed out, straightened, and streamlined so that things become better.

"It needs systematic changes, it requires ironing out things. There is lot of transparency and accountability that is to be brought into the system," he said.

  • Abhinav Sharma07-Mar-2014

    What about "one rank one pension" scheme? It benefited ex-soldiers and it will help the upcoming soldiers as well to be a good position. I think V.K. Singh doesn't know about "one rank,one pension" scheme that UPA introduced for the ex-servicemen.

  • Aman Mehra07-Mar-2014

    Obviously Modi is a dictator and he lacks vision and skills to lead the country. Modi has no vision of development. Don't know what V.K. has seen in Modi !

  • Aman Mehra07-Mar-2014

    V.K. wants to come into politics and target opposition to get into the headlines. Was V.K. Singh sleeping these years? Why did he not come forward few years back if there was a problem and congress has not been doing good for armed forces?

  • Abhinav Sharma07-Mar-2014

    I know that Congress has been a good party. It gave many things that forces wanted, whether it was the commissions, the equipments,the protocols. It has made a huge expenditure on defense as well. V.K. Singh has been struggling in these years, that's why he joined BJP.

  • Deepak Batra07-Mar-2014

    UPA govt. did systematic changes,a lot of transparency and accountability has also been brought into the system. As far as the armed forces are concerned, a lot of things has been done for them, a lot of things has been straightened and streamlined.

  • Deepak Batra07-Mar-2014

    V.K. Singh wants to jump into the conclusion without thinking about the matter. He is looking for an opportunity, political opportunity i would say. The fact cannot be denied, it was only the UPA govt. who ensured development and provided facilities to the armed forces.

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