Troop movement row: Tewari remains firm, says ‘nothing more to add’ to statement

Chandigarh : Following the uproar over his comment, former information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Sunday remained firm on his stand that the Raisina Hill incident was reported correctly by the Indian Express in 2012 and said that nothing ‘needed to be added or subtracted’ from his statement.

“I have nothing more to add or subtract to what I said yesterday,” Tewari told reporters here when asked to react on the furore over his comment.

However, the Congress Party appears to be a divided house over Tewari’s assertion that Indian Express story on troop movement was ‘unfortunate but true’.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi flatly refused to be aligned with Tewari and reiterated the clarification that some troop movement is necessary, inbuilt and an inevitable part of the defence mechanism.

He asserted that his ‘valued colleague’ was neither a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security not part of the relevant decision making bodies.

“Therefore, it was ‘inappropriate, unnecessary and completely wrong’ to suggest that there was truth in those allegations,” Singhvi added.

Echoing similar sentiments, Congress leader P. C. Chacko said it is unfortunate that such statements are coming to create unnecessary controversies.

“And we on behalf of the Congress Party very clearly and categorically deny this report. There was no such troop moment without information of the government,” Chacko told ANI.

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, however, backed Tewari’s troop movement claim.

“It appears, something did happen that night which was against the Constitution and democracy,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today said the grand old party must publically apologise for questioning the integrity of the armed forces.

“I think it’s highly condemnable that the Congress leaders have always questioned our highly disciplined armed forces.. This is the latest attempt to defame the armed forces. We expect the Congress Party to publically apologise for questioning the integrity and intention of our armed forces, who have always served this country with great distinction,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao told ANI here..

Tewari had yesterday brushed aside allegations that the news item published on April 4, 2012 was fake.

“At that time, I used to serve in the standing committee of defence. And it is unfortunate, but the story was true. The story was correct,” he said at an event in Delhi. (ANI)