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Ex-Indian army chief joins opposition party

Published on Mar 1, 2014 11:39 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - A former Indian army chief who resigned from the military following a controversy over his age on Saturday announced he had joined the Hindu nationalist opposition ahead of looming elections.

India's massive armed forces normally stay out of politics, but retired General V.K. Singh had been tipped to enter the arena since resigning as the head of the army in May 2012 after being accused of fudging his birth date to extend his service term.

Singh said he was joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - tipped to sweep the polls due by May - to "elect a stable, powerful government that can take decisions in the national interest".

The ex-army chief had been expected to become a BJP member after appearing last year at a rally with the opposition party's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, where they addressed retired soldiers.

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