According to the report in The Sunday Guardian, a senior minister is understood to be the 'sutradhar' (mastermind) behind the coup attempt story aimed to increase the friction between the government and the Army Chief Gen VK Singh. Singh is suspected of leaking this sensitive information in lieu of his face off with the government in the age row issue. [Read the Sunday Guardian news report here]
As per the newspaper report, the minister in an arrangement with his close relative with various defense procurement lobbies was aiming to target the Gen Singh thereby leading to the downfall in support for Singh. The false news was leaked to hamper the reputation of Singh among the political class. The Minister in question is understood to have miscalculated the response of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defense Minister. The Minister was under the assumption that this news would decline the credibility of the Army Chief leading to the PM and Defence Minister forcing him to quit.
A source has been quoted as saying, "The minister assumed that both would decline comment on the report, in view of their strained relations with the Army chief, but instead both came out foursquare against the newspaper. This surprised both the minister as well as journalists who relied on him for the initial information."
The PM commented that the story on the troop movement was "alarmist"; while the Defence Minster responded saying that any move to question the patriotism of the armed forces needs to be dealt with harshly.
The Sunday Guardian has also claimed that a close relative of the Minister has been regularly meeting with arms merchants and their lobbyists during his numerous visits abroad. The report added that the lobbyists meet with Indian VVIP's mostly in Dubai, London and Bangkok.
The result of this suspected coup story leaked into the media will only pose further trouble to the Manmohan Singh led UPA government with starking discrepancies exposed on the role lobbyists do in creating a rift between the government and Defence establishment. Sources in the Intelligence Bureau have been quoted as saying that the PM was informed about the group of lobbyists who are trying to plant "alarmist stories in a bid to discredit the Army Chief".
The IB is also understood to have told the PM the row between the Ministry of Defence and the Army Chief has caused a rift in the Army creating two camps with the brigadiers acting as "moles" leaking sensitive information to the media and arms lobbies.