"I am sorry not because of personalised attack. But, this kind of utterances can demoralise armed forces and help enemy. I do not think any true patriot will accept such remarks made for cheap popularity," Antony told a meet-the-press here.
Targeting Antony, Modi had called him an "agent of Pakistan and enemy of India". Attacking Antony over his statement made in Parliament last year when Pakistani armymen had intruded into Mendhar sector in Jammu and Kashmir and killed two Indian soldiers, beheading one of them, Modi had said three AKs have emerged as a unique strength for Pakistan.
"One is AK-47 which has been used to cause bloodshed in Kashmir. The second is A K Antony, who informs Parliament that people wearing the dress of Pak army beheaded our soldiers while our Army says Pakistanis had come. Who do you want to benefit with your statement," he had asked.
Anthony: I am sorry not because of personalised attack
Though initially he had some reservation to reply to Modi's remarks, Antony, when insisted by journalists, said "Do you think it was proper for a leader who is projected as prime minister of his party to make such a comment?" "Is it not a comment that demoralises armed forces and help the enemy. I don't think any true patriot will accept that," he said.
Antony rejected the criticism that defence preparedness had slackened since he took over the ministry and said modernisation of forces and procurement of equipment had continued. This included induction of maximum number of platforms in the Navy and new weapons for the Army for which funds had been a constraint.
On yesterday's crash of C-130J Super Hercules aircraft of Indian Air Force, he said it would be improper to arrive at conclusions before getting the report of the investigation. He, however, said aircraft were selected by Air Force after thorough processes, testing and trial runs and their acquisitions did not involve political decisions.
"In India procurement decisions are not political. It is based on clear cut procedures, quality and price," he said.