Manish Tewari’s colleagues on House panel say they can’t recall discussion on troop movement

The Standing Committee report on Demands for Grants (2012-13), which was presented to the Lok Sabha on April 29, 2012, said: “As stated by the Secretary, the media report was based on wrong inferences, surmises and conjectures and is strongly dismissed.”

Written by Pradeep Kaushal , Manoj CG , Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: January 11, 2016 7:37 am
manish tewari, army troop Former Union Minister Manish Tewari. (Express Archive)

Most members of the erstwhile Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence declined to respond to Manish Tewari’s remarks.

A senior MP belonging to a small party, who was a member of the Standing Committee in 2012, told The Indian Express on condition of anonymity that there was indeed a “fiery meeting” in April at which he, along with Tewari, had confronted Defence Ministry officials seeking the veracity of the reported troop movement. “We asked the then defence secretary (Shashi Kant Sharma), who had come to brief the committee, about the report. He sought some time to get back. Later, he told the committee that it (troop movement) did not happen the way it was being portrayed. Clearly, there was some movement from Agra. It was like half acceptance and half denial,” the MP said.

The Original storyThe January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt

Tewari’s party colleague Kamal Kishor “Commando” said a discussion did take place. “As far as I remember, there was a condemnation of the newspaper report by the committee. It was not a good thing. There was an allegation against him (the then Army chief Gen V K Singh). But I will have to see the minutes to tell you all the details,” said the former MP from Bahraich.

Video | Indian Express story on troops’ movement ‘true’: Manish Tewari (App users click here)

Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who was a Rajya Sabha member and was among the BJP representatives in the committee, told The Indian Express that as far as he remembered, no discussion on the incident took place at any meeting. “In any case”, he said, “discussions held during standing committee meetings are confidential, which cannot be made public”. As for Defence Ministry officials privately confirming the unauthorised troop movement towards Delhi, he said, “Nobody said anything of the sort to me.”

Read | Lt-Gen A K Choudhary: ‘Troop movement should’ve been avoided if they knew (V K Singh’s) court date’ 

Harish Chowdhary (Congress), who was a member of the committee, said there was no such mention in the committee. “If somebody had told something to someone in private, I don’t know… but nothing of that sort came up in the committee. There was no such development.”

T K Rangarajan of the CPM said, “I don’t recollect anything. A Standing Committee is a mini Parliament. We discuss so many issues… it is difficult to remember.”

Read | ‘Questionable’ troop movement: Manish Tewari’s confirmation unites Congress and BJP in denial

Avinash Rai Khanna of the BJP said: “I don’t remember exactly. But I will check the records and if the rules permit me to talk on this, I will get back to you.”

Shivaji Adhalrao Patil of the Shiv Sena and Sher Singh Gubaya of the Akali Dal said separately that nothing concerning the movement of Army personnel was discussed in their presence.

BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who also served the committee, said he did not remember anything on the issue being mentioned at a meeting or on the sidelines of a meeting. “And it is too significant not to remember, had it figured anywhere.” But he said it was possible that the matter had come up at a meeting which he had not attended.

The Standing Committee report on Demands for Grants (2012-13), which was presented to the Lok Sabha on April 29, 2012, said: “As stated by the Secretary, the media report was based on wrong inferences, surmises and conjectures and is strongly dismissed.”

It recorded: “…Some Members of the Committee raised the issue of controversial reporting of Army exercises held in foggy weather during January 2012 by a leading newspaper. Since the news-item assumed special significance, the Defence Secretary was asked to give clarification… The Committee were not satisfied with the clarification and asked the Secretary to explain the detailed factual position… at sitting scheduled to be held on the 9th of April, 2012.

Accordingly, the Secretary… stated: “… Mobilisation forms an important facet of training… These are carried out in routine manner by various formations and units…”

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  1. अशोक.गोविंद.शहा
    Jan 11, 2016 at 1:15 am
    VANDE MATARAM-GLORIFYING OLD ACT AND MISTAKE CAN NOT BE UPHELD.ON THE CONTRARY ITS INTENSION PROVE TO BE MIS LEADING AND DELIBRAT ATTEMPT TO DEFAME MODI GOVT AND ITS MINISTERS.WHY NOT TIWARI AND SO CALLED LEARNED AYYAR NOT FILLING P I L IN SUPRIM COURT? PURPOSE OF REOPENING OF THIS FOUR YEAR OLD NEWS SEEMS TO BE DELIBRATE ATTEMPT AGAINST GOVT BY DISGRUNTLED ELEMENTS OR MAY BE HIGH COMMANDS GURILAA TACTICS TO FIGHT WITH MODI GOVT AS THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO PROVE THEMSELVES AS HONEST OPPONANT JA G TE R HO
    Reply
    1. K
      Karunakaran
      Jan 11, 2016 at 1:23 am
      It is fairly evident the PDP has seen the terrible consequences as a result of partnership with BJP. The Central Government is entirely run by the PMO, and not by the parliament. The Parliament, where all matters should be discussed, hardly knows what is happening. Because, the crouching, dokhla-eating Gujjubhai, cannot speak. The crouching, dokhla-eating Gujjubhai, only knows how to do the drama-queen acting for the invited cheering supporters (mostly Gujjus), but he cannot speak. So the Central Government is run by the PMO, not by the Parliament. PDP has seen the result of Delhi elections, the result of Bihar elections, the result of Gujarat elections, and the result of even Madhya Pradesh elections. Most voters have deserted the BJP and the drama-queen, crouching, dokhla-eating Gujjubhai. So PDP's future can only be with the Congress party. Congress party is sincere. No false promises like those of the crouching, dokhla-eating Gujjubhai.
      Reply
      1. H
        Hindu
        Jan 11, 2016 at 4:57 am
        CONGRESS IS LIKE A MULTI-HEADED HYDRA. NEHRU FAMILY IS ITS BODY (SONIA). The BRAINLESS HEADS are Chaprasi MMS. SIBAL, CHIDDU, TIE, TOI, HT, THE HINDU ETC.
        Reply
        1. S
          Sekar
          Jan 11, 2016 at 7:16 am
          Since the members of BJP, VHP, RSS, etc have been silent for some time and most have not given any controversial statements recently, is this an initiative by the Congress to create a new problem to prevent the functioning of the parliament during the budget session?
          Reply
          1. M
            Madhu
            Jan 11, 2016 at 2:40 am
            So far Congress proved to be the most durable and secular party in India., whatever you may say
            Reply
            1. M
              Madhu
              Jan 11, 2016 at 2:01 am
              Manishji is easily the best leader in Congress today and deserves to be the President of the Party. He is educated, lawyer, experienced, has track record and he is far better than Rahul. Whey cannot they make him the VP of the Party instead of Rahul ? Then within 6 months he can replace Sonia as President. This is the sensible way of handing over of Congress to Indians by the Italian lady. We do not want any foreigners to rule us in any way. That too she is not good and very corrupt person.
              Reply
              1. M
                Mohan
                Jan 11, 2016 at 3:46 am
                Looks like you have donkey dna -- you bray on any page !
                Reply
                1. M
                  Mohan
                  Jan 11, 2016 at 3:45 am
                  Read about the IMDT Act 1983 in the Wikipedia -- it has enabled about 2 crore Bangladeshis mostly Muslims to enter India illegally
                  Reply
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