New Delhi, Jan 10: Congress leader Manish Tewari has once again revived the 2012 troop movement controversy after saying that a media report about two key army units moving towards Delhi without notifying the then UPA government was "unfortunate but true".
This statement from Tewari, the then union minister under UPA government, has sent the Congress party into a damage control mode which has rubbished his statement and said he is not an official spokesperson of the party.
Even, the then Army chief VK Singh, who is a union minister in the incumbent Modi government has also dismissed the Congress leader's statement saying he has no work these days.
Here is all that you need to know about 2012 troop movement:
Indian Express reported Army movement on April 2, 2012:
An Indian Express report on April 4, 2012, titled "The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt."
According to The Indian Express report, central intelligence agencies had reported that on the night of January 16, 2012, there was an unexpected - and non-notified - movement by a key military unit from the mechanised infantry based in Hisar 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. AK Singh) in the direction of the capital.
On the same night, another unit - identified as a large element of the 50th Para Brigade based at Agra - had also been moved towards Delhi, according to the newspaper report. The alleged movement took place at a time when Singh was locked in a confrontation with the government in a row over his age.
"Distrust" between the Army and government?
The then DGMO Lt Gen AK Choudhary was, in 2014, quoted as saying, "There was misconception or there was perceptional difference or there may be distrust."
Choudhary said after he was quoted in an interview, saying that the then Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma had asked him to send the troops back as the government at the highest level was "worried" over this.
The movement of the troops was a "normal" exercise, Choudhary said, and the government immediately "understood" the issue after he explained the matter to them.
The then NSA rubbished reports:
When asked about this, the then NSA Shivshankar Menon said there was no distrust between the Army and government.
"I don't see there is distrust. How can I comment on something that I don't see. Because I am a civilian, I work very closely with the Army everyday. I don't see that," he said.
Defence Minister had denied such reports:
Defence Minister AK Antony Friday said the movement of two army units near Delhi in January 2012 was "a routine training programme". He denied there was any trust deficit between the government and the army in the wake of the age row concerning former army chief VK Singh.
Congress distances itself from Manish Tewari's remarks:
"Some troop movements are necessary, inbuilt and inevitable part of the defence mechanism. I'm again clarifying there is absolutely no truth in it," said Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
VK Singh snubs Tewari:
"Manish Tewariji has nothing to do these days. There is this book of mine, ask him to read it and every thing will be clear to him," Singh told reporters.