Congress, BJP Agree On Denying Manish Tewari's Troop Movement Claim

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Congress, BJP Agree On Denying Manish Tewari's Troop Movement Claim

The Congress and the BJP both rubbished Mr Tewari's claim that the report was "unfortunate but true".

New Delhi:  The Congress has snubbed former Union minister Manish Tewari for his claim yesterday that a newspaper report about troop movement in January 2012 towards Delhi from Agra and Hisar was correct.

Mr Tewari is "neither the authorised spokesperson nor was he a part of the Cabinet Committee on Security," Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said on Sunday. "It was not right for him to comment on such issues," he added.

"It is unnecessary and wrong to suggest that there was truth in what was said," Mr Singhvi said. He said, "Senior ministers had clarified (at that time) that there is absolutely no truth in respect to what we have heard today."

The Congress and the BJP both rubbished Mr Tewari's claim that the report was "unfortunate but true". BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain retorted, "The Congress doesn't take him seriously, why should we?"

According to the report in The Indian Express dated April 4, 2012, the government was "spooked" on the night of January 16-17, 2012, because 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.

Earlier in the day, former Union minister PC Chako had said, "There was no such troop movement without the information of the government." He had said his party "clearly and categorically" denied Mr Tewari's claim. Union minister General VK Singh (retd), during whose tenure as Chief of Army Staff the said troop movement is alleged to have taken place, had reacted to Mr Tewari's claim and said, "he has no work these days." BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said Mr Tewari's claim was the Congress's "latest attempt to defame (the) armed forces."

"I have nothing more to add or subtract to what I said yesterday," Mr Tewari said in Chandigarh. He said he wasn't aware of what other Congress leaders had said on the issue.

The alleged movement took place at a time when Gen Singh was locked in a confrontation with the government over his age. He had moved Supreme Court over the controversy on the same day, January 16.

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