Lashing out at General JJ Singh for his despicable, unwarranted and unfounded comments against Captain Amarinder, several ex-servicemen, led by the All India Ex Servicemen Joint Action Front Sanjha Morcha, have lambasted the Akali candidate from Patiala for demeaning the Army and the high Gubernatorial office for petty political gains.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the ex-servicemen hit out at Gen Singh as an opportunist officer who always hungered for publicity and indulged in shamelessly brazen display of rank, with even his golf bag and cart adorned with the four stars of a General rank.
With his decision to contest the Punjab Assembly elections, the General had not only downgraded the status of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) but also disgraced the high office of Governor – both positions given to him by the UPA government, said the ex-servicemen, led by Sanjha Morcha chief patron Lt Gen JS Dhaliwal.
Other signatories to the statement include Lt Gen SS Brar, Lt Gen KS Dogra, Maj Gen SPS Grewal, Brig Inder Mohan Singh, Col RS Boparae (President Sanjha Morcha), Col CS Khera (Gen Secy Sanjha Morcha), Col Bhag Singh (Chairman Pb Ex Servicemen Cell-Congress Party) and Major Amardeep Singh.
As ex-COAS, Gen Singh should have stayed above politics, said the statement, adding that if at all he wanted to promote his vested and opportunistic political interests, he should contest the Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll, instead of downgrading himself to the level of Assembly elections – the lowest rung in the electoral battle.
Lashing out at Gen Singh for questioning Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder’s credibility and his role in the Army, the ex-servicemen said it did not behoove a senior ex-Army officer of his stature to indulge in such scandalous
falsehoods for a mere Assembly seat.
Captain Amarinder, a son of the soil, had left his royal comforts to rejoin the Army in the wake of the 1965 war outbreak, where General Singh, who never exercised high command in battle, styled himself 'A Soldier’s General’ – becoming a butt of ridicule among his peers, the ex-servicemen pointed out, referring to the Akali candidate’s memoirs which he rushed to print soon after retirement without waiting for the 20-year-period which Late Field Marshal SHF J Maneckshaw MC had suggested all army officers should do before writing about their experiences.
Lambasting General Singh’s barefaced and appallingly discreditable remarks, the ex-servicemen questioned him on his decision to accept the key positions of COAS and Arunachal Pradesh Governor from the Congress-led UPA government and then going on record to say that he had joined SAD as he was against the Congress party for their role in Operation Bluestar and its aftermath.
When asked recently why he had not resigned his commission in protest, as Captain Amarinder had done from the Lok Sabha and the Congress in the wake of Operation Bluestar, the opportunist said it was his destiny to reach those appointments.
It is shameful, indeed, that a man of his stature should stoop to such a low level to grab political power at the fag end of his life, after having been held in such high esteem in his earlier years, said the ex-servicemen.
"Can there be anything more reprehensible than this?” the ex-servicemen asked, adding that it was a fluke that landed Gen Singh in the high post of COAS.
General Singh was an average cadet all through who claimed he did not do well at the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy because he was too young, whereas the fact was that many younger than him performed better, the ex-servicemen said.
Gen Singh ended up as the COAS only on account of his date of birth, with his more meritorious batchmates losing out in the race as they were older than him, and not fit for the post as per the rule in place at the time, the ex-servicemen said, describing the Akali candidate as a typical example of many `birthday generals’ who owe their rise not to merit but to a date of birth.
With no connect with the soil and no political or social roots, unlike Captain Amarinder who had worked for the people and among the people throughout his nearly 30-year long political career, Gen Singh was now resorting to personal attacks on the Punjab Congress president in a desperate bid to gain some political mileage in what was clearly a lost battle for him, the ex-servicemen said.
The man does not have a clue about the issues in Patiala, leave alone Punjab, and is trying hard to cover up his ignorance by raking up non-issues and launching personal barbs against Captain Amarinder, they pointed out, adding that the people of Patiala would give a befitting reply to Gen Singh.