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New Delhi, March 26 | Political parties across the spectrum Monday said army chief General V.K. Singh should have filed a complaint about his allegation that he was offered a bribe by a lobbyist to purchase substandard vehicles.
The Congress party attacked Singh, asking why he kept quiet for so long and didn't lodge a complaint.
"It is really unfortunate. Being a government official and head of the Indian Army, he should have registered an FIR if someone came to him and offered a bribe," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought a detailed statement from the government on the issue and asked why the government did not take action when the matter was reported.
"It is a very serious matter and that is why we wanted the government to come forward and make a statement. The army chief said he has already informed the matter to the defence minister, if so what is the action taken by the minister…what has the government done so far about the issue?" asked BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu.
But he added, "I do agree that the army chief should have filed a complaint and it is unusual for an army chief to make such a statement in public."
The army chief told The Hindu that a lobbyist offered him a bribe of Rs.14 crore to have tranche of 600 substandard vehicles of a particular make cleared for purchase.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony has ordered a CBI inquiry into the matter.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja questioned the timing of the revelations.
"Why is he telling all these things now? What was he doing all along in the past? How come somebody has approached a general and tried to bribe him. When he can go to the Supreme Court for his age row, why could he not tell this information to the country? These are all genuine issues, which the general should answer," he said.
Another CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said the party knew about the monetary irregularities in the defence deal but did not have any proof.
Hinting at the army chief age row, Dasgupta said: "The army chief revealed it to the nation when something happened to him." (IANS)