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For AK Antony, national interest comes first

"We are living in a transparent democracy...I will try and protect national interest to the utmost," Antony says.
None | By Rahul Singh, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON OCT 25, 2006 06:53 PM IST

Defence Minister AK Antony may take some time to crack the code at the South Block, but one thing he's certain about is that he will always place national interest first.

After assuming office on Wednesday, the 65-year-old also gave an important piece of advice for those in public life - ministers, parliamentarians and officials.

"We are living in a transparent democracy. People are scanning every action of a public man. Everyone should be aware of that. I will try and protect national interest to the utmost," Antony said, when asked if probes into defence deals were aimed at settling political scores.

Speaking to journalists, he said, "I have had a discussion with the defence secretary and other officials. Some important areas like modernisation of the armed forces and the problems being faced by them in general were brought to my notice." Antony, however, ducked most queries saying he would react on policy matters only after receiving a detailed briefing.

The minister later chaired a meeting of all defence ministry officials of the rank of joint secretary and above. The three service chiefs also briefed him about their respective services.

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