Thiruvananthapuram, Mar.29 ANI | 9 months ago

Defence Minister, Arackaparambil Kurien Antony, on Saturday said that the allegation made against him that he was a Pakistan agent by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was unpatriotic.

Antony said the allegations would demoralise the armed forces.

"Is it proper on a part of leader, just to get some cheap votes, to demoralise the armed forces? I don't think any true patriot will make such a comment. I am sorry about that," Antony said.

Modi had said in his rally in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday that the defence minister was one of the AK's admired in Pakistan. He had said that Antony is apparently helping the neighbouring country by not stopping scams in defence purchases.

The defence minister refuted allegations that modernisation of Indian armed forces had been halted due to series of scams.

"Even after cancelling contracts and even after blacklisting companies, the modernisation process is on track. In the last five years not a single rupee for modernisation, had been surrendered, we have ensured that all the money was spent," he added.

The Defence Ministry has mired in controversies for over two months. Last month, India's navy chief resigned, taking moral responsibility for a series of accidents, on the same day that two officers were killed by smoke in a submarine.

Indian Air Force has been plagued for years by the crashes of its Russian-made MiG-21 fighters. More than half the MiG fleet of 872 aircraft has been lost to crashes that killed 171 pilots, Defence Minister had told parliament in 2012.

A U.S.-made C-130J Hercules aircraft came down in a desolate area of the central state of Madhya Pradesh while on a routine training mission on Friday.

(Posted on 29-03-2014)

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