Retired General V K Singh on Thursday skipped a key meeting of former chiefs of the Army hosted by General Bikram Singh, with whom he is said to have enjoyed not-so-comfortable ties.
Eight other chiefs, who are attending the fifth conclave of former chiefs, are: K V Krishna Rao, V N Sharma, S F Rodrigues, V P Malik, S Padmanabhan, N C Vij , J J Singh (also present Arunachal Pradesh Governor) and Deepak Kapoor.
V K Singh, who had a 26-month tumultuous tenure as Army Chief, has not attended any government function since he retired from service on May 31, including the customary Air Force Day ‘At Home’ at Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne’s official residence.
V K Singh, during his tenure had taken on the government, first over the issue of his birth date. If he had his way, he would have got an additional 10 months at the helm of the Army. Consequently, Bikram Singh would have lost out on becoming the chief.
He had also dropped a bombshell claiming that a retired Lt Gen had offered him a `14-crore bribe to clear a deal for 600 Tatra trucks. V K Singh had also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the obsolescence of the Army’s weapons and systems. This letter got leaked to the media, resulting in calls for his sacking. However, he and his office were given a clean-chit by the Intelligence Bureau.
He has, though, been busy with agitations, siding with popular anti-graft and rights movements. He continues to occupy government accommodation at the Delhi Cantonment for which he is entitled to.
The Army Chief’s conclave debated the present state of security preparedness and ideas for betterment of personnel. “The former chiefs discussed military operations issues and adjutant general branch issues on welfare of personnel,” an officer said.
The former chiefs were joined by Radhika Bewoor, wife of the late General G G Bewoor and Vani Sundarji, wife of the late Gen K Sundarji, who were briefed on the welfare activities carried out for wives of martyrs and special abilities children of Army troopers.