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Defence Ministry denies rift with armed forces

"There is no difference at all within the establishment and the armed forces and we are working in harmony," Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju told reporters here. 

He was asked whether there is any role of an insider behind the controversial leakage of Army Chief General V K Singh's letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Gen Singh's letter on the state of preparedness of the force to the PM was leaked to the media sometime back.

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

Replying to a question on rapid modernisation of military infrastructure by Chinese Army along its border with India, he said efforts are being made to upgrade Indian infrastructure there.

"China's budget is four times that of India so they will definitely have larger resources dedicated to that. But that does not mean that we are under-prepared in anyway. We are also gathering momentum in the way we are acquiring capabilities and the way we are building our infrastructure," Raju said.

On the purchase of Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) Pilatus for the Indian Air Force (IAF), he said, "There is a procedure for acquisition for anything and because of the shortage of the trainer aircraft, Pilatus will be processed as soon as possible in the urgency of need for trainer aircraft."

He hoped the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will take up the issue soon.  

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