New Delhi : The Congress on Sunday distanced itself from party leader Manish Tewari, who claimed that a news report on a controversial 2012 troop movement towards Delhi was true.
“When this alleged incident regarding the army is supposed to have taken place, senior ministers had even then clarified, and I am now clarifying, that there is absolutely no truth in the allegation,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said here.
“In fact, it was also clarified (then) that some troop movements are necessary inbuilt and inevitable part of a defence mechanism. But to read into it all the other elements is completely wrong,” he added.
When the alleged incident took place, the Congress-led UPA government ruled India. The then army chief, V.K. Singh, who denied ordering any illegal troop movement, is now the minister of state for external affairs in the Narendra Modi government.
On Sunday, the former general, Singh, hit out at Tewari.
“Manish Tewari has no work these days. I have written a book, tell him to read it,” Singh told reporters in Ujjain.
Tewari, a former union minister, said he would love to read Singh’s book “provided he promises to read mine – in offing!”.
Tewari said at a book release function on Saturday night that he was on the Standing Committee on Defence when the reported incident took place.
“It’s unfortunate but the story was true, story was correct. To the best of my knowledge the story is correct.”
According to published report, late on the night of January 16, 2012, the day Singh approached the Supreme Court on the issue of his date of birth, intelligence agencies reported an unexpected and non-notified movement by a key military unit from Hisar in Haryana in the direction of New Delhi.
Both the Congress government and the army denied the report.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who was also then a member of the Standing Committee on Defence, said on Sunday that there was no such discussion ever in the panel on the issue.
He said discussions in parliamentary panels cannot be brought out in the public domain.