Taking strong exception to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar asking the services chiefs to implement the seventh Pay Commission recommendations despite their objections, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh today asked him to stand by the defence services and not the “babus” in the government.
“The babus not only know nothing about the defence services, but also seem to be congenitally hostile towards the services,” said Amarinder, himself an ex-army officer.
He said Parrikar had no right or authority to order the services chiefs to accept what is not acceptable to them, adding he had once again shown his inability to understand the services.
“You can order them in operational matters and they will do as ordered, but on what grounds can you order them to accept the 7th Pay Commission recommendations when these are prejudicially biased against them?” he asked, while adding, “is this Nazi Germany and are you Hitler to issue such a dictatorial order?”
The former Punjab chief minister said, the three services chiefs are reflecting the views of each and every soldier in uniform or out of it.
“Instead of you standing by your defence services you are toeing the line set by your babus,” he told the minister while asking, “do you realise the implications of your attitude?”
“You have a highly disciplined force, perhaps the only pillar in our democracy that works without ever commenting or objecting,” he said asking, “do you want a disgruntled service?”
He said, “If the services are to lose their standing by placing them below the babus and the police, that is exactly what you will have, and then God help our country with a belligerent China and Pakistan around. Will you then lead your babus into battle?”
He asked Parrikar to look beyond the babus and stand by the forces.
“Demoralising them will affect the security of our nation,” he warned while asking Parrikar to either stand by the services or quit as the Prime Minister can perhaps find another defence minister and a better one.
Amarinder also sought the Prime Minister’s personal intervention and asked him to look beyond those who “lack foresight”.
“This is a matter of national security and beyond that of the comprehension of the babus. The three chiefs are absolutely correct in their stand. Their officers and men expect nothing less from them. They have complete admiration and total support of the nation,” he asserted.