Tewari rakes up 'coup' row; Cong, BJP dismissive

Tewari rakes up 'coup' row; Cong, BJP dismissive

Tewari rakes up 'coup' row; Cong, BJP dismissive

Former Union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari has put his party in the dock by claiming that media reports of “unexpected” and “non-notified” troop movements in 2012 were “correct”.

Tewari’s comments at a book release function on Saturday had both the Congress and the BJP rushing to snub the former minister for reviving a controversy that was long considered dead.

In April 2012, a report in the Indian Express of “non-notified” troop movement towards Delhi from Agra and Hisar had stopped short of suggesting an Army coup at a time when the then Army chief General V K Singh was locked in a court battle over his date of birth.

“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. I am not getting into an argument. All I am saying is that to the best of my knowledge that story was correct,” Tewari said.
Senior BJP leader Siddarth Nath Singh wondered why Tewari was raising an issue which the UPA government has itself dismissed.

“This throws up many questions which must be addressed by the Congress,” he said.

Congress fielded its spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi to disown Tewari as well as his comments which appear to put the then defence minister A K Antony in the dock. Antony had then told Parliament that the troop movement was routine and the media report was based on “wrong inferences, surmises and conjectures”.

“He (Tewari) is neither the authorised spokesperson of the party, nor the spokesperson on foreign or defence affairs, nor privy to any of the committees or decision-making group,” Singhvi told reporters here.

V K Singh, now a Union Minister, dismissed Tewari’s remarks saying it had come from a person “who has nothing to do these days”.

Tewari, who became the Minister for Information and Broadcasting in October 2012, stood his ground. “I have nothing more to add or subtract to what I have said,” he told reporters in Chandigarh.