New Delhi, Feb 6 : The 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence will take stock of the fresh news reports on the 'fake coup attempt' story allegedly circulated by the UPA Ministers around 2011-12 even as the BJP sought to drag Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the murky issue.
"I am a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence and this (fresh news report) is a matter of great concern and I have raised the issue with our chairman and requested him that we should find answers to these questions," BJP spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao told reporters here.
The parliamentary panel is headed by senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra and has among others former Prime Minister H D Devegowda (JD-S), Jayadev Galla (TDP), Gaurav Gogoi (Congress), M M Joshi and Shobha Karandlaje (both BJP) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) as members.
Addressing the media at BJP headquarters here, Mr Rao said "this was a very very sinister" episode.
"The Congress party had not only indulged in loot during UPA regime, they have also played havoc with the national security of this country," he alleged adding it was a pure case of 'conspiracy' against Indian army.
"IB had categorically told the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh that it was a false alarm and it should have rested at that.....but what prompted senior ministers in the then government to tell a section of media three months later about it," he wondered.
He claimed four ministers in the then Manmohan Singh government were in the know of things and accused one or more (of these ministers) to have 'leaked' the 'fake' army coup news to a section of media.
The BJP lawmaker and spokesman also wanted to know from the Congress if the Pakistan ISI was in any manner involved in the entire game.
Usually, four members of the Cabinet Committee on Security - Union Home Minister, Finance Minister, External Affairs Minister and Defence would be in the know of things.
The media report published on September 20, 2013 had claimed that the 'alarm' was raised around January 16, 2013.
"What was the motive about planting the fake story about the army coup? What was the objective of the Congress party," BJP spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao told reporters here.
He said such an alleged attempt made by involving Intelligence Bureau was a "serious attempt at trying to subvert the Indian Army".
"We demand answers from the Congress. They claim to have respect for the Indian army but they abuse the army and the army chief now and then. This needs an answer from Rahul Gandhi himself," he said.
Taking cognisance of reports in a section of media that UPA regime had asked the Intelligence Bureau to establish a 'coup attempt' under Gen V K Singh to topple the Manmohan Singh government, the BJP also wanted to know under 'whose behest' such a move was carried out.
The saffron party's official Twitter handle specifically wanted to know whether AICC president Rahul Gandhi had 'authorised' such a move.
"Plotting a coup is 1st order treason. But the Congress had no qualms taking this route to gratify its perpetual hunger for power. Was it authorised by then party Vice President Rahul Gandhi?," the Twitter missive said.
"We demand an answer," it added.
Mr Rao said, "The stories were planted by senior leaders of the Congress party, including certain Cabinet ministers. This was a manufactured coup".
He especially wanted to know whether Rahul Gandhi was the the 'brain behind' this conspiracy.
"No leader in the Congress apart from members of the Gandhi family can take decisions like this," he said.
The strong reactions from the saffron party came in the wake of reports that the then Prime Minister Dr Singh was led to believe by a section of UPA that a sentiment was building up in the country, which could result in the defeat of his government.
'A worried Manmohan Singh took this fictitious threat seriously and asked the IB to look into it. The IB, after doing the inquiry, got back stating that there was no chance of a coup as no Army chief, anywhere, could think of staging a coup, if he did not have the support of his top officers," the report had claimed.
The episode had surfaced around the time when the UPA-II was facing the onslaught of relentless anti-corruption campaign, led by Anna Hazare especially.
At the briefing, GVL Narasimha Rao said certain details of the episode were worrying and added, "if there was any hand of the ISI in this, because we know their track-record".
Mr Rao further said: "Was this an attempt to malign the Indian Army and an attempt to equalise it with the coup-happy Pakistan Army". (UNI)