NEW DELHI: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal on Monday took up the issue of control over Shimla's Annandale grounds, on which his government is at loggerheads with the army, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said he would meet Defence Minister A.K. Antony also on the issue.
Dhumal told reporters here that "the way the Army people are interfering in Shimla on the Annandale issue, indiscipline is increasing and Army officers are making press statements. Indiscipline in central forces is an issue of serious concern."
"I have met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. I have personally brought the matter to the notice of the Prime Minister. I am also trying to meet the Defence Minister and seeking time from him today," Dhumal, who was here to attend the meeting of CMs on internal security, said.
Annandale Ground in Shimla is a huge open space surrounded by thick forests, about 4.5km below the state capital's famous Ridge.
Asked about moving the court against the Army for making 'defamatory' statements, Dhumal said "some press statement has been given. I have said if an unconditional apology is tendered it is fine, otherwise I am filing a defamation suit in the court. The allegations are without any basis... I don't know why such a statement has been given. Now, let them face the result of giving such statements."
Dhumal also raised the matter at the Chief Ministers conference on internal security and sought the handing over of the Annandale ground to the state government from 'illegal' possession of defence authorities because lease of the said ground had expired many years back.
He especially took up the issue of the army authorities raising the issue in the media by "not only distorting the facts but also making false and baseless" allegation against the state government and elected high functionaries.
He also demanded an inquiry into whole matter and suitable action against all those responsible in this matter.