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Monday 2 April 2012

Send Gen on forced leave, says ex-NSA

In a sharp attack on the Army Chief, former national security advisor Brajesh Mishra said today that General V K Singh had gone “berserk” after the Supreme Court’s order on his age issue, and the government should have sent him on “compulsory leave”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Mishra, who was the NSA in the NDA government, said: “After the Supreme Court’s verdict, he went berserk. There were allegations about him bugging the Defence Minister’s office, then the Rs 14-cr (bribe) charge, and then the letter to the Prime Minister on defence preparedness.”
“He made these allegations without giving any proof. Now you are the chief, any statement from you has to be credible. If you behave like this, how will your subordinates behave?” said Mishra, who was also the principal secretary to then prime minister A B Vajpayee.
“My view is that after the Supreme Court’s decision, he should have been sent on compulsory leave till his retirement,” said Mishra.
Saying he has not seen a situation like this in his career in the government since 1951, Mishra said the current episode shows “defects” in the Army Chief as well as the Defence Minister A K Antony. “Both are guilty of not taking national interest into account,” he said.
The Centre’s response to the present situation is due to “indecisiveness” and “internal quarrels” within the government, he said.
He recalled how former Navy chief Vishnu Bhagwat was sacked for not following the government’s order on the appointment of the deputy chief of naval staff, after then defence minister George Fernandes brought the issue before the Cabinet Committee on Security and quoted an Act that had been violated by Bhagwat.
On the issue of defence preparedness, Mishra said: “An Army general said that it’s not all that bad. Yes, the pace of sanctions is very slow. They (Army officers) are also responsible for that. They take months and years to procure... and then want the bureaucrats in the Defence Ministry to approve it.”

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