Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Saturday steered clear of the controversy about who is number two in the Union Cabinet.
"Nobody is senior or junior in the Union Cabinet. All are equal," he told reporters while responding to a query after commissioning of INS Sahyadri here.
Interestingly, two of his junior Cabinet colleagues Sachin Pilot and Milind Deora were by his side when he made this observation.
"There is no politics in Defence," he said, reiterating his stand that he would not answer questions relating to politics.
Mr. Antony's remark assumes significance in the wake of raging controversy as to who would be designated number two in the Union Cabinet after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's departure to contest for the post of President.
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was sore at Mr. Pawar not being nominated as the number two in the Cabinet.
Mr. Pawar had kept the Congress on tenterhooks and had skipped Thursday's Cabinet meeting.