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Army chief letter: BJP says it raises serious questions about the state of the armed forces

New Delhi, Wed, 28 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 28 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday said that the media leak of Army Chief General VK Singh's March 12 letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has raised serious questions about the state of the country's armed forces.

Addressing Members of the Rajya Sabha, senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said General Singh's disclosure that India's security was at risk because of obsolete technology, was a serious charge, and needed to be addressed by the government with the utmost urgency.

"The army chief has written a secret letter about the serious situation of ammunition...It is unfortunate, but a serious issue," Naidu said.

"The government has not told what it is doing on this issueú. The government should tell what action the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister has taken," Naidu said.

"Our demand is that the prime minister should clarify what steps are being takenú The air force equipments are not updated, or in proper condition. We do not have ammunition. The government should take parliament in confidenceú The issue is preparedness of the army. Who has leaked this private letter?ú We are concerned about the action of the government," he added.

Janata Dal (U) leader Shivanand Tiwari said: "It's a matter of concern. The fact that he has written to the PM shows he is trying to clarify his position. The army chief's conduct is now doubtful. The action of the army chief is not clear. It seems that he is lying. Now that he has got involved in the controversy, he is trying to pass the buck."

According to reports, the letter, sent to the Prime Minister's Office on March 12, has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take suitable steps to enhance the preparedness of the country's army services.

He claimed that the army's tanks are "devoid of critical ammunition to defeat enemy tanks" and air defence is "97 percent obsolete and it doesn't give the deemed confidence to protect...from the air."

General Singh and Defence Minister Antony are already faced with a crisis with the former disclosing on Monday that he was offered a 14-crore bribe in 2010 to clear 600 substandard trucks for the army. (ANI)

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