United in Denial: Congress, BJP on Tewari’s Comment on Troop March

Tewari remarked that the 2012 report in The Indian Express on the movement of troops was “unfortunate but true.”

Updated
India
2 min read
Congress leader Manish Tewari addresses during INFOCOM 2015 in Kolkata, on Dec 3, 2015. (Photo: IANS)

Former union minister Manish Tewari had remarked that a 2012 report in The Indian Express report on the movement of troops was “unfortunate but true.”

While the Congress appeared divided in their reaction to Tewari’s statement, senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar confirmed that “something” had indeed happened on that night in 2012. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the official spokesperson of the party, however, dismissed Tewari’s statement and questioned his locus standi.

The front page of <i>The Indian Express on </i>April, 4, 2012<i>. </i>(Photo courtesy: <i>The Indian Express</i>)
The front page of The Indian Express on April, 4, 2012. (Photo courtesy: The Indian Express)

Meanwhile, Minister of State and former Army Chief VK Singh rubbished Tiwari’s remarks. Singh dismissed the claims and called the Congress leader “jobless” even as the BJP questioned the timing of the remarks and demanded a statement from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the matter.

A member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence when the report appeared on April 4, 2012, Tewari stood his ground. He said he had nothing to add to, or subtract from, what he had said.

On the night of January 16, 2012, central intelligence agencies reported an unexpected (and non-notified) movement by a key military unit, from the mechanised infantry based in Hisar (Haryana) as a part of the 33rd Armoured Division in the direction of the capital, 150 km away. Any suspicion was still considered much too implausible, but lookouts were alerted as a routine step. The lookouts confirmed the movement of what looked like a sizeable unit.

Report in The Indian Express on April 4, 2012.

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