10/01/2016 2:34 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Manish Tewari Says Report On 2012 Troop Movement 'Unfortunate But True', Triggers Controversy

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NEW DELHI, INDIA - FEBRUARY 17: Union MoS, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari after attending interim budget session on February 17, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Chidambaram unveiled a conservative budget for the government’s remaining time in office through May. He said the government has narrowed its fiscal deficit and pledged to keep government spending at the same level. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Former Union Minister Manish Tewari has raked up the 2012 troop movement controversy, saying a media report about army units moving towards Delhi without notifying the then UPA government was "unfortunate but true" even as his own party distanced itself from his claims while former Army Chief V K Singh rubbished the remarks.

Congress has distanced itself fom Tewari's claims.

"We on behalf of Congress very clearly and categorically want to deny this report," party spokesperson P C Chacko said.

Another party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said there is no truth in the report. "I am again clarifying there is absolutely no truth in it (claims about troop movement in 2012), he said. My colleague was neither a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security, nor any relevant decision making body," Singhvi said, adding some troop movements are necessary, inbuilt and inevitable part of the defence mechanism.

"It was inappropriate, unnecessary and completely wrong to suggest that there was any truth in those allegations when made," he said.

Former defence minister and Congress veteran A.K. Antony on Sunday also reiterated that it was a 'routine exercise' to check operational preparedness.

"I've already spoken in Parliament regarding this issue. Please see my previous comments," he told ANI in a telephonic conversation.

As Tewari's remarks opened a can of worms, VK 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.

Tewari, who was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in UPA government between October 2012 and May 2014, said, "I am not getting into an argument. All I am saying is that to the best of my knowledge that story was correct".

According to The Indian Express report, central intelligence agencies had reported that on the night of 16 January, 2012 there was an unexpected - and non-notified - movement by a key military unit from mechanised infantry based in Hisar in the direction of the capital.

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