Union Minister Gen (retd) V K Singh on Sunday alleged that an “insidious campaign” is being run against him by a section of media at the behest of the arms lobby that is “working overtime” to subdue him and he has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding it.
“It is only an insidious campaign in which the arms lobby is working overtime. They were not able to subdue me when I was the Army chief. They have carried on,” Singh said and accused a former senior Army official of being a part of the conspiracy.
“I won’t go beyond saying as to what relationships he enjoys with various chaps. There are a lot of people who were paid by him. So, obviously, you have some journalists and others who will write what they are told,” he told.
He was reacting to the controversy which erupted after his visit to Pakistan High Commission here on March 23 for a reception. He was again at the centre of a controversy recently over his remarks comparing the Yemen evacuation operation with his visit to the Pakistani mission.
Singh had later sparked a controversy with his remarks against a TV channel for playing up the issue.
Asked if the arms lobby was still active against him, he said that it was very much so.
“They did a lot to dole out resources when the elections took place. We know how much money was received by various people. They are active. They are very active. Their sole aim is to how to get me out,” he said.
Singh added that following the campaign against him for his presence at Pakistan Day, he had spoken to the Prime Minister and explained why he was being targeted.
“I also told the Prime Minister that this was an orchestrated campaign. . . That is my way of working. Come out clear, don’t hide your punches. I told him this was a motivated campaign, this is what has happened. I leave it to you to find out who is motivating it,” he said.
Asked what Modi’s response was, Singh said he understood.
“He is too media savvy not to understand it. He said leave it to me,” Singh said.
Defending his presence at the Pakistan High Commission, the former Army chief said, “It was just protocol. I was the Army Chief earlier and now am a Union Minister”.
He had faced a lot of criticism on the social media and the electronic media over his visit.
The Minister courted another controversy during the evacuation process in Yemen when he took a swipe at the media saying the operation was not as exciting as his visit to the Pakistani mission.
“I was joking about the fact that my 15 minutes in Pakistan High Commission got so much air time but not the evacuation process,” he said. His comments had created a controversy.
He had later tweeted using the word “presstitutes” for a TV channel for playing up his comparison remarks.
Singh apologised to journalists for using the word, barring a small section of media persons who, he said, were carrying out a “motivated campaign” against him.