VK Singh, a former army chief and junior minister in the External Affairs Ministry, is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Ghaziabad in western Uttar Pradesh. He is up against the Congress's Dolly Sharma and Samajwadi Party's Suresh Bansal, who also has the support of alliance partners Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal. He is currently leading comfortably with around 6,09,000 votes. His closest competitor, Suresh Bansal, has around 2,88,000 votes.
General VK Singh served as the 26th Chief of Army Staff from 2010 to 2012. He was the first trained commando to take over as the Army Chief. During his tenure, he became the first army officer to take the government to court over a dispute regarding his age and retirement. In his last days in office, General Singh sparked a row when he claimed he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore for clearing a file related to the procurement sub-standard vehicles for the Army.
Often seen at odds with the UPA government, post-retirement, the former general was seen sharing the stage with top BJP leaders, including then-prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. He lost the legal battle against the Defence Ministry in 2012 and backed the anti-corruption movement led by activist Anna Hazare.
Ahead of the 2014 general election, VK Singh joined the BJP and contested from the Ghaziabad (Lok Sabha constituency, defeating Congress candidate Raj Babbar by 5.67 lakh votes.
VK Singh was made Minister of State for External Affairs in the Narendra Modi-led government, position he held till the end of the term. He was also made the Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge) but was later replaced by Jitendra Singh.
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