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Gen Singh also blames army for age row

The Indian Army chief, General V.K. Singh, Tuesday agreed with Defence Minister A.K. Antony that the administrative branch of the force was to blame for his age row.

"He (Antony) is right. There is no doubt about that. Obviously it is not the MOD (ministry of defence), it is within the army... There is something wrong," Gen Singh told reporters after Antony in similar remarks blamed the army for the dispute over the chief's age.

The age row stems from two sets of records with the Adjutant General's and Military Secretary's branches of the Indian Army.

Singh, citing one set of birth records, says he was born in 1951 and was not due to retire until March 2013.

But records at the defence ministry show he was born in 1950, which means that Singh, who became army chief in March 2010, is due to step down in May this year.

The general said the issue "should have been sorted out earlier" and assured that corrective measures have been put in place so that the "problem shall never recur again" and there is a better coordination between various branches of the army.

Gen Singh also agreed with Antony that there was no rift between the government and the army over the issue.

"There is no confrontation. We are playing it up unnecessarily," he said.

The army chief is set to reply to a letter last week from the defence ministry asking the Adjutant General's branch for an amendment in records of Singh's year of birth.

Asked about the delay in replying, the chief said: "Normally a letter comes, it is studied. It takes time. Everything happens as per its own time." 

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