Date: 20/09/2013

> Mohua Chatterjee
> ,
> TNN | Sep 14, 2013, 07.35 AM ISTAdvertisement
> NEW DELHI: Retired Army chief General V K Singh
> is likely to begin
> his political career by joining BJP
> soon. He is
> scheduled to attend the BJP rally where Gujarat chief minister and the party's
> prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will be the star of the show at Rewari
> in Haryana on Sunday. There is a possibility that Singh will be inducted into
> the party at the rally.
> Singh has been in touch with BJP leaders for a while now. He met party president
> Rajnath Singh, former party chief Nitin Gadkari and even Modi.
> The Rewari rally is being organized by ex-servicemen affiliated to the party and
> the induction of Gen Singh, who had a controversial tenure as Army chief towards
> the tail end of his career in the armed forces, at such a venue seems to be an
> appropriate occasion for both the party and him.
> In fact, a BJP rally organized by party general secretary and Pilibhit MP Varun
> Gandhi and in the Agra (rural) constituency of Uttar Pradesh on the same day had
> to be called off, since L K Advani who was supposed to attend the rally seems to
> be in no mood to address a public function at a time when he has been overruled
> by the BJP leadership in deciding the timing of anointing Modi as the PM candidate.
> The Agra rally that was scheduled two months ago, much before the Rewari rally
> was planned, was part of the series of public meetings that Varun Gandhi has
> been holding across Uttar Pradesh, with each of the top central leaders
> attending one of them. There have already been rallies with party chief Rajnath
> Singh in Bareilly and
> one with Gadkari in Sultanpur.
> The UP government, of course, has also disallowed permission for the Agra rally,
> in the backdrop of the recent communal tensions in Muzaffarnagar in the state,
> hence the rally could not have been held even if BJP had stuck to its decision
> to hold it on the same day as Modi's Rewari rally.
> PTI | Sep 20, 2013, 07.17 PM IST
> BJP questioned the timing of the report and claimed that Gen VK Singh was being
> "hounded" for sharing the dais with its PM candidate Narendra Modi at the Rewari
> rally five days ago. (PTI photo)
> NEW DELHI: A huge controversy erupted on Friday over allegations that an
> intelligence unit set up by ex-Army chief Gen VK Singh misused secret funds to
> try and topple the Omar Abdullah government
> in Jammu &
> Kashmir with the Centre promising action if any serving or retired officer is
> found involved.
> As the allegations in a secret Army report that the controversial Technical
> Services Division
> (TSD) was
> involved in unauthorized operations and financial wrongdoings triggered a
> political slugfest between Congress and BJP, a Union minister on condition of
> anonymity said a CBI probe into the "extremely sensitive" matter is not ruled out.
> The defence ministry said it will take a decision about action on the Army
> report on TSD after its careful
> examination while asserting
> it had measures in place to prevent any such undesirable activities.
> Stating that the report "impinges on matters of national security", the ministry
> in a statement, however, said it has not yet taken a decision on going for a CBI
> inquiry,
> BJP questioned the timing of the report and claimed that Singh was being
> "hounded" for sharing the dais with its prime ministerial candidate Narendra
> Modi at the Rewari
> rally five days ago.
> The report was prepared by director general (military operations) Lt Gen Vinod
> Bhatia as part of a board of officers inquiry formed by Army chief Gen Bikram
> Singh to review the functioning of the top secret unit set up during the tenure
> of his predecessor.
> The report submitted to defence ministry in March this year is understood to
> have recommended a probe by an external agency like the CBI.
> The Union minister, who spoke of a possible CBI probe, said the government has
> taken serious note of the report.
> Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari told reporters that the
> facts brought out in the report are "extremely sensitive" and if any person
> retired or serving is found involved in the matter, action will be taken.
> "The contents of the report which have been mentioned in a newspaper are under
> active consideration of the government. If any malfeasance is found against any
> serving or retired officer, appropriate action would be initiated.
> In J&K, political temperatures rose with parties including ruling National
> Conference demanding a thorough probe into the role of state minister Ghulam
> Hasaan Mir, who figured in reports of having allegedly received funds from TSD
> unit to topple the Omar government.
> Mir, at present agriculture minister in the Omar government, termed these
> reports as "blatant lies".
> A media report quoting an Army document said Gen Singh had allegedly misused the
> secret service funds
> to destabilise the Omar government, to pay off an NGO to try change the line of
> succession in the Army top brass, to buy off-air interception equipment and to
> conduct "unauthorized" covert operations.
> Replying to a question on possible action against the retired Army chief and his
> team involved in this matter, Tewari said this is not a question of being
> individual specific, but it is more of a systemic and structural issue "wherein
> there are alleged actions which impinge upon the larger ambit of national
> security."
> Tewari said the government does take such matters extremely seriously as it is
> its duty to do so and asserted that action would follow "after a probe".
> "The facts mentioned in the report are in the cognizance of the government. If
> it is found after the probe that facts are true, then action will be taken
> against those who are allegedly involved in it, whether they are in service or
> have retired," he said.
> Rejecting the charge that Gen Singh was being hounded after the Rewari rally and
> the Army report was politically motivated, Tewari said, "It is extremely
> surprising that whenever there is an allegation with regard to alleged
> subversion of an institution, you always find BJP prematurely jumping to the
> defence of such individuals.
> "I am quite struck by the fact ... I hope that behind all these incidents there
> is not the invisible hand of the BJP," he added.
> BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the allegations against Gen Singh sound
> absolutely curious and odd not just because of the timing but the contents of
> the report.
> "It is obvious that the hounding of the retired army chief is being done because
> he was seen seated beside Narendra Modi at the Rewari rally," she said.
> Lt Gen (retd) Raj Kadyan said allegations against TSD are serious and needs to
> be probed but raised questions, observing its contents are coming out just days
> after Gen Singh and Modi shared the dais. Maj Gen (retd) GD Bakshi also shared
> Kadyan's views.
> The TSD was formed in May 2010 during the tenure of Gen VK Singh and its
> existence came to light in March last year when it was alleged that the unit had
> tapped the phones of defence ministry officials at the height of the controversy
> over the then Army chief's date of birth.