No differences between govt, Army Chief: Pranab
New Delhi: After a bitter war of words over the past few days, both the Army Chief and the government are trying to calm things down.
On Friday, Army Chief General VK Singh sounded conciliatory, blaming "rogue elements" for differences with the government.
And on Saturday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee seconded Gen Singh’s remarks, stating that the government and the Army Chief weren’t at war.
Speaking to reporters, Mukherjee said there are no differences between the government and the Army Chief.
Asked about AK Antony’s alleged inaction in the Tatra trucks deal case, the Finance Minister said the Defence Minister had already made his stand clear in Parliament.
The climb down from both sides came after the Army Chief’s claims of being offered a bribe to clear a defence purchase and gaps in India`s defence preparedness opened up a Pandora’s Box with the opposition demanding the sacking of both Gen Singh and Antony.
"Rogue elements are trying to create a schism" between him and the government, Gen Singh said yesterday, a day after he himself called the leaking of his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on gaps in defence preparedness "high treason" and sought strongest action against the culprits.
Perturbed over the incident, Antony had ordered an Intelligence Bureau probe to get to the root of the letter leak, but said all the three defence chiefs "enjoyed the confidence" of the government.
In his latest statement issued to the media, Gen Singh said: "The Army, and by extension the Chief of Army Staff, are a part of the government."