Farooq Abdullah demands CBI probe into VK Singh's allegations of 'paying ministers'

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 24, 2013 07:51 hrs

Minister of New and Renewable Energy and Chairperson of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation-level probe into charges made by former Army Chief V.K. Singh, which alleged that political parties are funded by the Indian Army.

"I think the time has come when a CBI enquiry should be held immediately to see what is the funding the Army has done, and who are the people who have received these funds, and how those funds have been utilized," Abdullah said.

"I think it is a very, very terrible statement that he has made. It must be investigated. The Army has nothing to do with the funding of political parties. They should never do this. The Army should be kept apolitical. If he has done that, (then) he has done something extremely wrong," he added.

After General (Retd.) V.K. Singh alleged that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was aware of the corrupt practices between the Army and political parties, Farooq Abdullah said that he would not be able to comment on his son's behalf, and added that the prospect of the monetary transaction was saddening.

"I feel extremely sad that Army has utilized money for political purposes, which I think is extremely bad for this nation. The Army has to be apolitical and should remain apolitical," he said.

Earlier former chief of army staff General V. K. Singh disclosed that money from a secret army fund was given to some ministers in the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, but only for social schemes.

General Singh told television channels, including CNN-IBN and Times Now, that the money was given as part of Operation Sadbhavna schemes carried out by the army.

He said it was given to only to stabilise areas affected by terror, as well as the areas across the border.

General Singh had earlier stated that certain ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet were given these amounts from time to time, which prompted the state government and the Union Home Ministry to ask him on Tuesday to name the ministers who were paid the money.

Earlier today, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said V K Singh should name the ministers to whom money had been given from a secret defence fund for social schemes.

"He should name the ministers to whom money has been given. We can probe if details are given," Shinde told the media here.

Meanwhile, General Singh has filed an RTI application seeking a copy of the Army probe report which reportedly questions the functioning of a unit set up by him for human intelligence gathering. (ANI)

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