New Delhi: The Army Chief issued a fresh statement on the bribery issue case on Friday saying that some `rogue` elements within and outside the government were trying to project the recent controversy as a battle between the Defence Minsitry and him.
General VK Singh categorically said that there were efforts to create a `schism` between the two and that the role of the media in the whole matter had been negative.
Projections of schism between him and Antony was "untrue and needed to be guarded against", he reiterated.
He added that every issue is not a fight between the Army and the Defence Ministry and should not be treated as one.
The Army Chief also said that corrective steps were taken by AK Antony after he had appraised the Defence Ministry of the bribe issue.
"It is pointed out that after the matter was brought to
the honourable Raksha Mantri`s notice, certain steps had been
taken institutionally to keep a wary eye on the retired
officer who had offered the bribe."
"18 months later, the person resurfaced in the beginning
of March this year and launched a smear campaign under the
veil of anonymity alleging that the army was snooping on the
Defence Minister of India."
"Once, the concerned individual has been identified by
the army headquarters, his identity and antecedents were made
public," he said.
Advising the media he said that for the media to constantly project every issue as a battle between the government and the Army Chief is
The Army Chief`s attempt to cool tempers comes a day after Antony expressed government`s confidence in the service chiefs. Antony also vowed to give maximum punishment to those
behind the leak of Gen Singh`s letter to the Prime Minister in which he had spoken about lack of defence preparedness.
On the issue of so called letter bomb he clarified, "Selective leaks have culminated in airing of letter to PM. Frivolous and uninformed comments should not be made on military matters.
On an emotinal note General Singh added, "I am duty bound to serve the country and protect integrity of Army.
The Army Chief, who had lost his battle with the government over the age row, had recently raised the hackles of the government by giving an interview claiming he was offered Rs 14 crores in bribes to swing a sub-standard deal.
The leak of the letter to the Prime Minister raised tensions between the two sides.
With PTI inputs