Union minister and former Army chief General VK Singh on Sunday dismissed senior Congress leader Manish Tewari’s claim that the reports on non-notified movement of troops towards Delhi from neighbouring Haryana in 2012 was true.
Singh, general of the Indian Army at the time of the supposed incident, called Tewari, ‘jobless’. “Manish Tewari ji has nothing to do these days. There is this book of mine, ask him to read it and everything will be clear to him,” he said.
Singh was referring to his autobiographical book ‘Courage and Conviction’ in which he has crticised the Indian government on several issues, including corruption and the role of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Operation Bluestar.
Earlier, Tewari brushed aside allegations that a news item concerning troops’ movement published by the reputed newspaper in 2012 was ‘fake’ and said that it was an ‘unfortunate but true’ story. ”At that time, I used to serve in the Standing Committee of Defence. And it’s unfortunate, but the story was true. The story was correct.
The BJP also questioned the timing of the “admission”. “Manish Tewari’s comments raise the question about the timing of the statement. His comments become a suspect. I would only ask why was he quiet when his government had denied that there was anything like this happening when they were in power,” BJP leader Siddharthnath Singh said.
“Why is Right H’onble MP from Ghaziabad getting so antsy of course I would love to read his book provided he promises to read mine — in offing,” Tewari said in a tweet.
UPA government was at the Centre at the time of the supposed incident.
Tewari’s own party, the Congress, denied the claims.
“We on behalf of Congress very clearly and categorically want to deny this report,” party spokesperson P C Chacko said.
Another party spokesperson, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, said there is no truth in the report. “I am again clarifying there is absolutely no truth in it (claims about troop movement in 2012), he said.
“My colleague was neither a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security, nor any relevant decision making body,” Singhvi said, adding some troop movements are necessary, inbuilt and inevitable part of the defence mechanism.
“It was inappropriate, unnecessary and completely wrong to suggest that there was any truth in those allegations when made,” he said.
The Indian Express had on April 4, 2012, reported that late on the night of January 16, 2012 (the day then Army Chief General VK Singh approached the Supreme Court on his date of birth issue), central intelligence agencies reported an unexpected (and non-notified) movement by a key military unit from the mechanised infantry based in Hisar (Haryana) as a part of the 33rd Armoured Division (which is a part of 1 Corps, a strike formation based in Mathura and commanded by Lt Gen A K Singh) in the direction of the capital, 150 km away.