Coup fears baseless: Defence minister Antony

Visakhapatnam: Defence Minister A K Antony today termed as "absolutely baseless" fears of any coup attempt by the armed forces and expressed confidence that they will not do anything to undermine democracy.

"Absolutely baseless. Army has already explained this. It is usual, natural activities. Nothing unusual. We are absolutely confident of the patriotism of the armed forces. Don`t question their patriotism. They will not do anything to undermine Indian democracy," he told a press conference here.

He was replying to a question about an `Indian Express` report today that there was an unusual movement of two key army units towards Delhi without notifying government on the night of January 16-17, the day Army Chief Gen V K Singh moved the Supreme Court on the age issue.

The questioner told him that the report raised considerable alarm and fears of a coup and whether the government was afraid of such a possibility and what did it do. Would he rule out the possibility of a coup.

Antony said the armed forces personnel were "true patriots" and "don`t question the patriotism of the soldiers who are dying in the frontiers of the country. I am proud of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard," he said. He also urged the media not to lower the dignity of the armed forces on issues of national security.