Pranab dismisses talk of rift between army chief and government

March 31st, 2012 - 2:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Kolkata, March 31 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Saturday dismissed speculation of a rift between Defence Minister A.K. Antony and army chief General V.K. Singh.

“There is no difference between them. It has been already explained by the defence minister (Antony) on the floor of the house,” Mukherjee told mediapersons here.

Mukherjee’s comments came in the backdrop of efforts by Singh and the central government to defuse talks on any rift between them.

While Singh Friday sounded conciliatory, blaming “rogue elements” for perceived differences with the government, Antony said all the three defence chiefs “enjoyed the confidence” of the government.

The controversy started after the army chief alleged that he was offered bribe to clear a defence purchase and, in a leaked letter to the prime minister, pointed out gaps in India’s defence preparedness, which prompted the opposition to demand the sacking of both Singh and Antony.

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