In the backdrop of Army chief V K Singh’s age controversy,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today held a half hour,one-to-one meeting with Defence
Minister A K Antony here today.
The Prime Minister and Antony held discussions after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting got over,fuelling speculation that the row over the Army chief’s age and his retirement came up for discussion. The meeting lasted for 30 minutes.
After the CCS ended,Home Minister P Chidambaram was the first to leave,followed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee after a few minutes. Singh and Antony stayed back to hold this separate meeting.
Media reports have claimed the Army chief has threatened to go to court if the Defence Ministry treats May 10,1950 as his year of birth instead of his contention that he was born on May 10,1951.
Defence Ministry sources say the age row is settled and the Army chief will retire in May this year. The exercise to choose General V K Singh’s successor is also said to be underway with Lieutenant General Bikram Singh being the front-runner.
The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared a proposal to procure over 450 air-to-air missiles from French firm MBDA. The missiles will be equipped on Mirage 2000 aircraft,according to Defence Ministry sources.