New Delhi: Congress leader and former minister Manish Tewari has once again revived the controversy over a 2012 newspaper report that said in January that year, the Army moved two units towards Delhi without informing the government.
Mr Tewari, who was the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in the UPA government between 2012 and 2014, has said the report published in The Indian Express was “unfortunate but true.”
“At that point of time, I used to serve in the standing committee on defense. It is unfortunate, but the story was true to the best of my knowledge, that story was correct,” he said at a book launch event in Delhi on Saturday.
Mr Tewari’s party, the Congress has said it “clearly and categorically” denies the report. “I wish to clarify that since my colleague was not a member of the relevant decision making body, it was completely wrong to make such comment,” said party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
Union minister and former army chief V K Singh, who had in 2012 dismissed the report as “absolutely stupid,” attacked Mr Tewari and said “he has no work these days.” “He should read my book, it will reveal everything,” he added.
According to report central intelligence agencies reported that military units from Hisar and Agra had moved in the direction of the capital. The paper claimed the movement caused some concern within the government.
The alleged movement took place at a time when General VK Singh was locked in an open confrontation with the government in a row over his age. He had moved Supreme Court over the controversy on the same day, January 16.
The Army had said the units were moved to check response time and preparedness during the January fog. The then Defence Minister, AK Antony, had rubbished the reports as “absolutely baseless.”
The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had described the report as “alarmist” and said it “should not be taken at face value.”