General (retired) VK Singh has sparked a controversy by raising doubts about the suicide of former soldier Ram Kishan Grewal over the One Rank One Pension issue and claimed that the veteran had been a Congress politician.
This is what the former Army chief, who is Minister of State for External Affairs, said:
He was a Congress worker and who fought Sarpanch election on Congress ticket. His suicide is unfortunate: VK Singh on Ex-serviceman suicide pic.twitter.com/vMFCvDQGHN— ANI (@ANI_news) November 3, 2016
His issue was with the bank and not with #OROP. Also, how did he procure Sulpha tablets and who gave it to him?: VK Singh— ANI (@ANI_news) November 3, 2016
If he had reached out to us and didn't get help, then it was our fault: VK Singh on Ex-serviceman's suicide pic.twitter.com/kZcVKmUip3— ANI (@ANI_news) November 3, 2016
The minister's attempt to play down the suicide, as political leaders like Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal attended the funeral of the former soldier, wasn't entirely surprising.
Under attack for Delhi Police detaining leaders like Gandhi and Kejriwal after they visited the former soldier's family on Wednesday, other BJP leaders like Haryana minister Anil Vij and chief minister ML Khattar also said that it was incorrect to label Grewal a martyr.
'Shaheed' are those who lay down their lives at the border, not who commit suicide: Haryana CM ML Khattar pic.twitter.com/IhyRfGvFAC— ANI (@ANI_news) November 3, 2016
Given the political controversy the incident is mired in, opposition leaders attacked Singh and Khattar for their statements, claiming that they were insensitive:
GenV KSingh's continuous character assassination of a soldier is disgusting..BJP encashs Army's bravery but fails to do justice to veterans.— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) November 3, 2016
His mental condition needs to be examined, shameful that such a person writes 'General' before his name: Raj Babbar,Congress on VK Singh pic.twitter.com/fPuArVydLS— ANI (@ANI_news) November 3, 2016
V K Singh insulting Ram kishan ji https://t.co/fUdo4ARuj1— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 3, 2016
The former general may just have given the opposition politicians the ammunition they were looking for. On the other hand, he may also be hoping to diffuse any other action from ex-servicemen over the implementation of OROP and give supporters something to defend themselves with.