New Delhi, Sep 24 (ANI): Describing the claims made by former army chief General V.K. Singh that money was paid to certain ministers in Jammu and Kashmir to be extremely serious, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Tuesday said the government should take a serious view of the former's utterances.
"Now, Mr. V.K. Singh has come out and made some strong statements, very serious statements and alleging all ministers were paid off. These are all very serious issues because, these are all said by a former army chief. These all matters are very sensitive and they all are issues related to internal security, external security of our country," Raja told ANI here.
"So, I think, the government, the Defence Ministry, will have to take serious view of the opinions expressed by Mr. V.K. Singh and examine every issue raised by Mr. V.K. Singh," he added.
Clarifying the 'JandK ministers paid' remark, the former army chief has said the money paid to Jammu and Kashmir politicians wasn't a bribe, but to win the people's hearts.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde earlier today said the former chief should name the ministers to whom money had been given from a secret defence fund for social schemes.
"He should name the ministers to whom money has been given. We can probe if details are given," he said.
Reacting to accusations that he had funded a Jammu and Kashmir politician to topple Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's government, General (Retd.) Singh on Monday said those who levelled these allegations were anti-nationals, as the army had to pay ministers in the border state "to bring people together
He told a news channel that "paying ministers" was nothing new in Jammu and Kashmir.
"It has been happening since independence and everybody would have known about this. It is not something invented by V K Singh. Funding ministers is to get people together in Kashmir," he said.
General (Retd.) Singh on Saturday launched an all out attack on the ruling UPA Government, and said he is targetted because of his forthrightness, the arms lobby and because people in the bureaucracy stopped getting money.
"I am being targeted because of my forthrightness. I am being targeted because of the arms lobby which started feeling that they cannot bribe people and palm off equipment that is not worth it. I am being targeted because people in the bureaucracy stopped getting the money they were getting from all these lobbies," Singh said.
"And I am being targeted because some people in the political circles feel that I am uniting the veterans who have not got a good deal even from the UPA Government," he added.
General (Retd.) Singh had dragged the government to court prior to his retirement, seeking a change of date of birth in the official records that would have given him an extra ten months in service and in office.
The former army chief is now in the midst of yet another controversy following a report that he had set up Technical Services Division, a secret intelligence unit, and misused secret funds to try and topple the Omar Abdullah Government, and to try and change the line of succession in the Army's brass.
General (Retd.) Singh, who shared the dais at a rally in Rewari last week with the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, had earlier this year joined veteran social activist Anna Hazare in his crusade against corruption. (ANI)