Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (File picture)

Refusing to comment on President Pranab Mukherjee's remarks on the controversy surrounding the Bofors gun, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday called the Swedish gun a good one.

"I can only certify that Bofors guns are good. I do not make any statement on President's statement. If you ask me about quality of Bofors guns, then they are good," Parrikar told reporters here.

President Mukherjee was quoted by Swedish daily Dagens Nyhetter as saying that Bofors was not a scandal but a "media trial".

"it is yet to be established that there was a scandal. No Indian court has established it," Mukherjee was quoted.

"I was the defence minister of the country long after Bofors and all my generals certified that this is one of the best guns we are having. Till today, Indian Army is using it... The so-called scandal which you talk of, yes, in the media, it was there. There was a media trial. But I'm afraid, let us not be too much carried by publicity," he was quoted as saying.

It was alleged that the procurement of the 155mm Bofors guns by the Rajiv Gandhi government in the late 1980s was marred by irregularities and kickbacks.

This became a major issue in the 1989 general election in which the Congress party of Rajiv Gandhi lost power.