Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday sought to downplay Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar's critical remarks on UPA-II and said the government was functioning with the "coherence" required to carry out its mandate.
"We are in a coalition government. In a coalition government, there are bound to be differences," he said when referred to certain comments made by NCP leader Pawar and the attitude of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on various issues.
He said the "real test is that we should not allow these differences to undermine cohesiveness of the government."
Singh, who was talking to accompanying journalists on way back from Pretoria, added, "You have my assurance that despite different perspectives that various members of the coalition may have, managing the Cabinet of the UPA has never been a difficult task.
"Our government functions with coherence which it needs to carry out the mandate given by the people."