A day after the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly adopted a resolution urging the Centre to order an inquiry into Gen. V.K. Singh’s “damaging” statements, members in the Upper House demanded that the retired General be asked to appear before the legislature and questioned on his remarks.
Initiating a special discussion on Gen. Singh’s claim that many ministers of the State had received secret Central funds in the last 63 years, Bashir Ahmad Magray (Congress) on Tuesday said the only one minister named by the retired General, Ghulam Hassan Mir, had tendered his resignation but Pradesh Congress Committee chief Saifuddin Soz asked him to continue.
“Let me share a secret with you. Mir belongs to the Congress. He is a Minister on a Congress berth. When his name surfaced [in the Army’s Technical Services Division fund controversy], he came with his resignation to the [PCC] president. He [Mr. Soz] refused to accept it and told Mir Sahab that the law will take its course,” Mr Magray said.
The MLC referred to Gen. Singh’s date of birth controversy, and said the allegations against the ministers had come from a person who had “no credibility.”
He seconded the demand by many members that Gen. Singh be forced to appear before the Legislature.National Conference member Devender Singh Rana said Gen. Singh had caused damage to the democratic institutions in the country, creating an impression these were a farce.
“You [Chairman Amrit Malhotra] are the custodian of the sanctity and credibility of this House. The General should be brought here for an explanation. We leave it to your conscience.”
Mr. Rana said Gen. Singh “lied at the cost of the credibility of this House. He has also endangered the lives of 33,000 panches and sarpanches [by saying the Army funded their election]. The Government of India’s own inquiry has found the retired General responsible for phone-tapping of a Chief Minister. This is a blot on the Army’s apolitical character and the Constitution.”
Mr. Rana alleged that Gen. Singh had maintained an “intimate relationship with some south Kashmir politicians” from his days as a Brigadier.
Naeem Akhtar of the People’s Democratic Party agreed with the NC and Congress members that Gen. Singh had caused irreparable damage to the “already endangered faith of the Kashmiris in the Indian democratic system.”