Delhi: Reacting to Manish Tewari's comments on 2012 troops movement controversy, journalist Shekhar Gupta said on Sunday that the Congress leader had done a bold thing.
"What Manish Tewari said is a bold thing, better late than never," Gupta said.
"It has once again opened debate in the story, which I think is a welcome," he added, as per ANI.
Gupta was Editor-in-Chief of the Daily when the story was published.
"As far as we are concerned, we know the when and what of the story but we don't know why and how of the story. We don't know the motive, but the fact is such a distrust did come up," the senior journalist further said.
Reigniting the 2012 troop movement row, Tewari had termed as "unfortunate but true" a media report suggesting a coup attempt by General VK Singh, provoking a strong rebuttal by his own party and derisive denial by the former Army chief.
Replying to a question at a book release function here yesterday, Tewari virtually dug out the nearly four-year-old controversy from its grave.
He had said, "At that point of time I used to serve in the Standing Committee on Defence. And it's unfortunate but the story was true. Story was correct," as per PTI.
Tewari, who was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in the 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".
The Congress leader was asked about media coverage of issues pertaining to defence forces as in the case of the report published on April 4, 2012 by a leading Daily, titled "The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying government."
Reacting to Tewari's allegation, now Minister of State for External Affairs, dismissed Tewari's allegation saying it has come from a "person who has no work these days".
"He has no work these days. He should be asked to read my book which reveals everything (on the issue)," Singh said.
On the other hand, an embarrassed Congress, which had rejected the report when the controversy had erupted for the first time, dismissed Tewari's claim.
"I am again clarifying there is absolutely no truth in it (claims about troop movement in 2012). My colleague was neither a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security, nor any relevant decision making body," Congress spokesman Abhishek 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.
(When Agency inputs)