New Delhi: In the backdrop of a controversial report published by the Indian Express that the Army moved two units towards Delhi in January without informing the government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday sought to downplay the speculated rift between the political leadership of the country and the armed forces.
Reacting to the report, the Prime Minister said, “The Army is a vital institution. Any effort to downgrade its reputation should be avoided.”
Dubbing the media report as “alarmist”, Prime Minister said, “Report of Army troops build up should not be taken at face value.”
He emphasized that Army Chief's office is an exalted office and nothing should be done to lower its dignity.
The reaction of the Prime Minister comes hours after a leading news daily 'Indian Express' claimed that the Indian Army had moved two units towards New Delhi without notifying the government on January 16.
The daily further claimed that the incident took place hours after Army Chief VK Singh had moved the Supreme Court on his age controversy.
Importantly, the Defence Ministry also dismissed the report as “baseless and incorrect”.
In its reaction, the MoD said such exercises are conducted by the Indian Army from time to time.
"The points raised in the report have already been clarified by the Army...such exercises are conducted by the Army from time to time," Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said in a statement.
First Published: Wednesday, April 04, 2012, 12:11