Antony assures House on defence security

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 28, 2012 09:13 hrs
Antony assures House on defence security

New Delhi, Mar 28 (IBNS) Responding to a fresh controversy over the defence deficiencies of the Indian army after a letter of the Army Chief to the Prime Minister leaked, Defence Minister AK Antony said he ensured that the armed forces are best trained in the world and there is no laxity in preparedness.

He said the defence ministry is ensured to provide trained and best fighting forces in the world and the issue cannot form the subject of public debates.

"Publishing the contents of the secrets in the public debate can not serve our national security. Our defence preparedness is strong. I assure this house and the nation that It is our intention to keep it strong," Antony told the Rajya Sabha which was adjourned over the letter of the army chief.

"The Government is determined to do everything to ensure national security," he said making a statement in the House.

Rajya Sabha was adjourned earlier for 15 minutes and later again after an uproar by opposition over the secret letter written by Army Chief General V K Singh to Prime Minister on March 12 regarding the obsolescence and deficiencies in the defence.

After the leakage of the top secret letter, BJP leader in Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu referred this issue as unfortunate incident and said, "It is a very seroius issue."

"The leakage of the letter by Army Chief is very unfortunate. But this is very serious issue," he said on Wednesday in Rajya Sabha.

Regarding the government action on this issue he asked to the government, "What is the government action on this"

"Let the government respond to it,"he said.

In the response Defence Minister A K Antony said, "I was aware the letter as a Defence Minister and the Government will respond to it."

Later he made the statement.

The defence purchase scandal controversy is turning out to be an ugly spat between the Army Chief and the Defence Minister AK Antony.

A day after Defence Minister AK Antony told the Parliament that he had asked Army Chief V K Singh to act against those who had offered him bribe for a substandard defence purchase but the latter had refused to push further, media reports said the Army Chief had denied the same.

According to an NDTV report, the Army Chief is set to challenge the statement of Antony made in Parliament.

The news channel quoting unnamed sources said the Army Chief had refused to sign the contract with state-run BEML (Bharat Earth Movers Limited) for the controversial Tatra Trucks and hence had indeed acted.

Army Chief V K Singh had also refused to clear the appointment of retired Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh, whose name has been dragged in the controversy as a defence purchase lobbyist, for a re-employment in the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), said NDTV.

Antony on Tuesday said he would cancel any contract in defence where corruption took place.

Army Chief V K Singh alleged that an equipment lobbyist offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore in lieu of clearing the purchase of 600 substandard vehicles.

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