Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh has said he has not offered to resign in the wake of the raging controversy over his tweets after attending the national day reception at Pakistan High Commission and that he is “fully committed” to the BJP and the government.
Accusing sections of the media of making a mountain out of mole hill over his tweets, Singh said an unnecessary controversy was created with some questioning his nationalistic credentials.
“My tweets were directed only towards those section of the media that have questioned the intent of my government and also the stance on countering Pakistan sponsored terror. I feel that it is also important for me to clarify that I am fully committed to my party, the government and specially my Prime Minister,” Singh said in a statement he read out before the media at his residence.
The Minister said there was “nothing new” in Kashmiri separatists attending the Pakistan High Commission function as they have been doing this year after year.
Asked whether he has offered to quit, Singh said, “I have not made any such offer. Sometimes some people show something by concocting it on their own. Ask them from where this news has come.”
The former Army Chief said attending the Pakistan’s National Day celebrations at the Pakistan High Commission was a protocol that every minister of state for External Affairs has followed in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
“The only difference this time was of optics as previous Chief of Army staff was seen there though people forgot that he was a minister of state in the present government,” Singh said.
Shortly after representing the Government at the national day reception at Pakistan High Commission last night, Singh had issued a series of intriguing tweets defining “disgust” and “duty”.
The Congress demanded that either he should quit or the government should sack him. Asked about Congress’ demand for his resignation, Singh said “Congress is a party which has been wiped out in the country due to 60 years of misrule. Since they do not have anything, they tried to swim even by holding a straw that comes its way”.
The former Army chief said he was shocked at the way “certain sections of the media attacked my Prime Minister, my government and me for making these statements”.
He said that he was aware of the duties and responsibilities that came with the office when he took over as Minister of State for External Affairs in May 2014.
“I am also a soldier who led the 13 lakh strong army and by virtue of this I am privy to many things which others may not be,” he said, adding that he was a loyal member of the party and the represent government and would not have joined it otherwise.
“Therefore there should be no doubt how I stand on the government policies,” he insisted noting that his tweets on duty and disgust, which came under lot of scrutiny over past 24 hours, has left him “perplexed and shocked”.
Recalling that there was “uncalled for media lashing and questioning of my nationalistic credentials” as soon as he came out of the Mission, he said, “Some even went as far as to claim that the attendance has lowered the morale in the army”.
He said even as the party and the government understood the issue, the “media kept on hyperventilating”.
Asked if he was playing the game of a good cop and a bad cop, he said, “I am a straightforward soldier. I am not a politician., I have been a soldier for 42 years and I know only one way to function,” he said.
He said his tweets on definition of duty was clearly to tell all as to what it implies to be a soldier and a disciplined party.
“I stand in unison with them in working for a better India as I always say nation comes first always and every time,” he said.