Answering queries on the troop movement following an interview of former director general of military operations (DGMO) AK Choudhary in which he said he was summoned by the then defence secretary on the issue, Antony said it was a routine exercise.

“It was a routine training programme. Nothing wrong in it,” he told reporters here.

Antony said that he had answered the question thrice in Parliament earlier.

“The Defence Secretary also gave the same answer to the Parliamentary Standing Committee,” he said.

Choudhary told reporters in Patna earlier that he was asked by the government about the troop movement and he had told them it was a ‘normal training event’. He said such training was planned in advance.

When asked if the government was alarmed over the troop movement as he had been called by the then defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, Choudhary said he can't say if those in the government were ‘alarmed or not’.

“I explained and the issue was understood by them,” he said.

Distrust between government, army matter of serious concern: BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday voiced serious concern over comments of former DGMO Lt Gen (retired) A K Choudhary that there may have been ‘distrust’ between the army and the government in connection with troop movement near Delhi in 2012.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said though the government lacks trust deficit in all sectors, the distrust with the army was never comprehended.

"The distrust between the government and the army is a matter of serious concern. Army protects the nation and assures to protect its citizen. If this type of reports comes, it is a matter of serious concern," Prasad told reporters outside the Parliament.

"We need to correct it and we will correct it if we come to power,” he added.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar on his part said the saffron outfit is proud of the apolitical link of Indian Army.

“We are proud of its ethics and morals. Therefore, we would not like to comment on reports based on statements of somebody who has just retired because we believe in our armed forces,” said Javadekar.

Javadekar said he has been a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and seen the armed forces in real sense for the last four years.

"Therefore, I can say that we should not make sensational news out of something. I don't believe that Indian Army has anytime got politicized," he added.

The former DGMO’s comments have triggered a fresh controversy over the movement of army units close to Delhi in 2012.

"There was misconception or there was perceptional difference or there may be distrust," Choudhary has said.  He said then defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma had asked him to send the troops back as the government was ‘worried’ over this.


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