Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh has hit out at Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar over his ill-informed comments on the selection of the Chief of Army Staff, saying the remarks were not only uncalled for but an insult to two top army commanders.
Talking to mediapersons here after ex-servicemen extended support to the Congress, Captain Amarinder said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parrikar had been repeatedly betraying the defence forces with their apathetic attitude to the problems of the servicemen and the ex-servicemen.
From OROP to the 7th Pay Commission and the downgrading of army ranks, the armed personnel and ex-servicemen had, time and again, been humiliated by the Defence Ministry headed by Parrikar, said Captain Amarinder, adding that Parrikar’s comments on the appointment of the Army Chief were virtually the last straw.
"If Parrikar can’t keep his mouth shut on such matters, it’s time the PM chooses a man fit enough to look after our services, which are the last bastion of stability, secularism, and in whom the country across the board takes pride,” Captain Amarinder earlier wrote in a Facebook post.
Noting that an ill-informed defence minister was a dangerous thing to have, Captain Amarinder said that Parrikar should be aware that the services function on the rank structure, which indicates seniority and which was customary in the services to be maintained.
Referring to Parrikar’s comment that intelligence inputs were also considered while taking the decision on the appointment of the Army chief, Captain Amarinder asked if that meant that Generals Bakshi and Hariz also had some aspersions cast on them by the intelligence inputs. He pointed out that both were outstanding army commanders and soldiers of repute, and "these foolish off the cuff remarks were an insult” to them.
Parrikar’s comments, wrote Captain Amarinder, "speaks of the man’s ignorance of the working of the services.”
Pointing out that the Army was the one institution that the government has no interfered in till now, Captain Amarinder said "if once Gen Vaidya superseded Gen Sinha, which too was wrong, doesn’t mean one perpetuates such mistakes.”