Congress questions abrupt removal of Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh but BJP denies

New Delhi(PTI): Congress on Thursday questioned the timing of government’s decision to remove Sujatha Singh as Foreign Secretary and wondered whether it was “retribution” for her stand on IFS officer Devyani Khobraade.

“Is sacking of Foreign Secretary late retribution for her stand on Devyani Khobragade affair? Removal after a Presidential visit “coincidental”? former Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari wrote on Twitter.

Government last night decided to replace Singh curtailing her tenure by eight months and appointed India’s ambassador to the US S Jaishankar in her place.

Also read: S Jaishankar takes charge as new Foreign Secretary of India, replaces Sujatha Singh

Singh was the Foreign Secretary when the arrest of Khobragade in the US had led to a diplomatic dust-up.

The 1999 batch IFS officer was arrested in 2013 in New York on visa fraud charges. The incident had triggered a row between the two countries with India reacting with steps including downgrading privileges of certain categories of US diplomats. Singh as Foreign Secretary had taken a tough stand on the matter.

On the other hand , ‘No political motive’ behind Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh removal: BJP

Defending the move to replace Sujatha Singh as Foreign Secretary, BJP on Wednesday ruled out any political motive and said the government had acted well within its right to decide on appointment of officers.

“I don’t see any reason for hue and cry. A government is within its rights to decide how it would like to appoint what officers and with what responsibilities. And this is not the first time….. Preceding governments have taken (such) decisions,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said.

Singh was removed late last night from the crucial post of Foreign Secretary eight months before her tenure was to end and replaced by S Jaishankar, Ambassador to the US.

Also read: S Jaishankar takes charge as new Foreign Secretary

“I do not see any reason that anyone can attribute any political motives. This is the right of the government,” Kohli said.

Taking on the Congress for raising questions on the decision, the BJP leader said, “The Congress party spokesperson can try to do politics or anything. In any case it does not appear that they are inspired by their leadership.

Also read: Congress questions abrupt removal of Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh

That’s why their constant method seems to be trying to raise a hue and cry on issues also where there is no scope to do so.” Kohli said there can’t be a political motive to everything.

“How can you mix it with the appointment of the Foreign Secretary? A government is within its rights to appoint any officer and this has been done by preceding governments too.

There can’t be a political motive to everything,” he said.

Posted by on January 29, 2015. Filed under Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.