8 former Army Chiefs counter V K Singh, say no money was paid to politicians

V K SinghThe former Chiefs objected on mixing the 'Sadbhavna' operation with the illegal funding issue. (AFP)

In a strong counter to claims by previous Army Chief Gen V K Singh that all ministers in Jammu and Kashmir were being paid money by the Army since Independence, eight former Army Chiefs came together on Friday to rubbish the statement.

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They asserted that no funds were ever provided to any politician during their tenures, and stressed that the Army does not dabble in politics.

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The former Army Chiefs, some of whom have spoken out on the issue in the past few days, said in a joint statement that they would have never allowed any such activity, and also countered a claim by V K Singh that the funds were given under the "umbrella" of the 'Sadhbhavna' operations.

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"No funds were ever provided by the Army, to any politicians, political party or any NGO in their tenures and nor would they have allowed that," said the statement issued by Generals O P Malhotra, S F Rodrigues, S Roychowdhury, V P Malik, S Padmanabhan, N C Vij, J J Singh and Deepak Kapoor.

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The eight Chiefs encompass the entire leadership of the Indian Army since 1990, barring Gen B C Joshi, who passed away while in service in 1994.

The former Chiefs have also stressed that the 'Sadbhavna' (goodwill) operations should not be mixed with this aspect, referring to a subsequent statement by V K Singh that the money was paid under the umbrella of Sadbhavna. His second statement was seen as a damage control exercise.

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