New Delhi: Indian Army Chief General V.K. Singh on Tuesday termed the row over his age, a personal issue and cleared that it has no link to the armed forces.

'I have said this is a personal issue and there are no differences with the defence ministry. I desist from making comments. It is a personal issue, nothing to do with the organisation. There is no problem with the ministry and me,' Singh told reporters here on the sidelines of a defence function.

The army chief and the defence ministry are locked in the row with the general insisting that he was born May 10, 1951 and not in 1950. The controversy stemmed from different sets of records in the adjutant general and military secretary branches of the Indian Army headquarters.

While the adjutant general's branch, which deals with pay, perks and pensions, maintains 1951 as his year of birth, the military secretary branch, which deals with appointments and promotions, has 1950 in its records.

The government has gone with the records of the military secretary which means that Singh should retire this year. The correction in military secretary records would have given him one

The army chief last maintained that there is no rift with the government indicating that he may have settled with the 1950 year of birth.

(Agencies)