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Congress seeks VK scalp

New Delhi, June 10: The Congress today said V.K. Singh could not continue as Union minister after the Modi regime condemned as “without any basis” the disciplinary action he had initiated against army chief-designate Dalbir Singh Suhag during his term as chief of army staff.

“The government has expressed no-confidence against a member of its own council of ministers. This will have consequences as criminal proceedings can be initiated in case of perjury. It will not be moral, ethical and legal for him to continue… it is only a matter of detail whether he resigns or is removed,” the Congress said.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the defence ministry has said that the disciplinary proceedings against Suhag between April and May 2012 were “without any basis or material on record”.

The affidavit was filed on a petition challenging Suhag’s appointment as army chief after Gen. Bikram Singh retires on July 31.

Suhag, then Dimapur-based 3 Corps commander, was placed under a disciplinary and vigilance ban by V.K. Singh for alleged “failure of command and control” in an operation carried out by an intelligence unit. But Gen. Bikram Singh cleared his promotion as army chief after V.K. Singh retired.

The defence ministry, in its affidavit, said: “The alleged lapses… were vague, based on presumptions and legally and factually not maintainable.”

V.K. Singh holds charge of North-eastern affairs as independent minister of state.