New Delhi: Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh hit out at Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar over his remarks on the selection of the Chief of Army Staff, saying the remarks were not only uncalled for but also an insult to two top army commanders.
Talking to mediapersons after a group of ex-servicemen extended support to the Congress ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls, he 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 'one rank, one pension' (OROP) to the 7th Pay Commission and downgrading of army ranks, military personnel and ex-servicemen had time and again been humiliated by the Defence Ministry headed by Parrikar, said Amarinder, and the minister'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 Modi 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," Amarinder wrote in a Facebook post.
Noting that an ill-informed defence minister was a "dangerous thing" to have, Amarinder said that Parrikar should be aware that the services function on rank structure, which indicates seniority and which was customary in the services to be maintained.
Referring to Parrikar's comment that intelligence inputs were considered while taking the decision on appointment of the army chief, the state Congress chief asked if that meant lieutenant general Praveen Bakshi and lieutenant-general PM Hariz also had
some aspersions cast on them by the intelligence inputs.
He said in a statement that both were outstanding army commanders and soldiers of repute, and these "foolish off-the-cuff remarks" were an insult to them.
Bipin Rawat was appointed chief of army staff on December 17, superseding two senior officers.
Updated Date: Jan 05, 2017 21:36 PM