Defence Ministry denies rift with armed forces

Defence Ministry on Thursday denied reports of any difference with armed forces and said the government is working in harmony with the three services.

New Delhi: Notwithstanding the various controversies, the government on Thursday said that there are no differences between it and the armed forces and it is working in harmony with the three services.

"There are no differences at all between the establishment and the armed forces and we are working in harmony," Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju told reporters here.

He was responding to a query on whether there was any role of an insider in the leakage of Army Chief Gen VK Singh`s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"I do not want to speculate on speculative reports," Raju told reporters after inaugurating an NCC seminar.

Gen Singh`s letter on the state of preparedness of the armed forces to the Prime Minister was leaked to the media sometime back.

The letter was leaked at the time when Gen Singh had alleged that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore by a defence lobbyist to clear a proposal for purchase of a tranche of trucks for the Army.

The Defence Minister has ordered a CBI inquiry into the bribe issue, even as another controversy erupted last week with a media report claiming unusual troop movement towards Delhi in January. The government has rubbished the report saying that it was part of a regular drill.

Earlier, Defence Minister AK Antony had also stated that the government and the forces were working in a very cordial environment.

The Defence Ministry has also asked the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to investigate the leakage of Gen Singh`s confidential letter.

On the outcome of the inquiry, Raju said, "I do not know anything about it. I have just come back from a tour."