New Delhi: The government on Monday rejected a media report that suggested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had conveyed his unhappiness to External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna for criticizing Home Secretary G.K. Pillai for his remarks on the eve of the India-Pakistan talks.
Reacting to a report in The Indian Express, media adviser to the Prime Minister Harish Khare dubbed it as "false and mischievous."
According to the report, Manmohan Singh is understood to have taken up with Krishna his public criticism of Pillai`s remarks on the involvement of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the 26-11 Mumbai carnage.
Pillai`s remarks ahead of the July 15 talks between Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi were seen by some as a cause of hardening of Islamabad`s posture over Jammu and Kashmir that led to the breakdown of the first major foreign minister-level talks since the 26/11 attacks.
In interviews to TV channels, Krishna had backed Pillai`s assertion about the role of the ISI in the Mumbai terror, but remarked that those "ill-timed" comments spoiled the atmospherics at the July 15 talks.
The denial of the PMO is seen as an effort by the government to project a picture of unity as the opposition braces to play up inter-ministerial differences and attack the Manmohan Singh government for mishandling of the talks.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has slammed Krishna for publicly criticizing Pillai to appease Pakistan.