New Delhi: Asking Army Chief General VK Singh to go on forced leave is one of the options before the Government, which is more than upset over the leakage of his letter to the Prime Minister projecting the country's defence preparedness in poor light.
A minister who declined to be identifed said as of now there are only two options before the Government "tolerate the Army Chief till his retirement due in the next two months or force him to go on leave".
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is upset over the Army chief's action but the Government was not thinking of any drastic step as it was not seeing the issue in terms of an officer but in terms of an office.
"No sacking" was the refrain of another senior minister, who said that the General has violated Army discipline by writing directly to the Prime Minister and not through the Defence Minister.
Incidentally, General Singh had done a similar thing during the row over his age.
The latest controversy was the worst thing that could have happened to the Government at a time when it was hosting leaders of the BRICS nations including China.
The Prime Minister held deliberations with Defence Minister AK Antony and Home Minister P Chidambaram in Parliament as the issue rocked the Rajya Sabha in morning.
Antony also held discussions on the matter with the NSA separately.
The Government's view in the matter will be crystalised when the issue is expected to come up in Lok Sabha tomorrow.
The General's actions are the result of his failure to get one more year in service is the view of the Government.
Minister of Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi put it more succintly. "I do not know what is the issue. I have not seen the letter. The Army is a disciplined force. (He) could not get an extension even by the court. May be a frustrated man suffers," Ravi said.