Congress today questioned the timing of the Government’s decision to remove Sujatha Singh as Foreign Secretary and wondered whether it was “retribution” for her stand on IFS officer Devyani Khobragade.

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

The 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.

Singh was the Foreign Secretary when the arrest of Khobragade in the US 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.

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