PM's team in huddle to debate Army chief's SC plea

As the battle between Indian Army commander-in-chief Gen V K Singh over his age turned political on Monday – with the Bharatiya Janata Party and even some ruling United Progressive Alliance accusing the government for mishandling the issue – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a meeting with defence minister A K Antony and law minister Salman Khurshid to work out an approach in the wake of Gen Singh filing a petition in the Supreme Court.

Defence secretary Shashikant Sharma, who was in Malaysia on a two-day visit, was called back in view of the developments, which have caught the government on the back foot.

The BJP slammed the government for its 'failure' and 'inefficient' handling of General Singh's age row. BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Tuesday criticised the government for 'not showing statecraft' in dealing with the age row involving Army Chief General VK Singh.

The government has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court requesting to be heard before it passes any order on the writ petition filed by Gen Singh challenging the defence ministry's refusal to accept his position that he was born in 1951, which would extend his tenure as Army chief by a year.

The government insists that he was born in 1950 and must retire on 10 May.

Meanwhile, the defence ministry has reportedly sent a list of probable commanders who could succeed Gen Singh to the Prime Minister's Office.