Bengal Guv criticizes Mamata Banerjee's statement on army exercise

Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee's outcry on Thursday over the army's data-gathering exercise, Mahasanchalan 2016, is turning out to be an embarrassment for the West Bengal chief minister who had claimed that the state government was not briefed about the exercise.

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi on Saturday sternly cautioned against "defaming" and "letting down" the Indian Army in the wake of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleging that soldiers extorted money from truck drivers during their deployment at toll plazas.

A huge drama unfolded in Kolktaa as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to leave state secretariat Nabanna on Thursday night even after Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar told Parliament that it was regular army exercise and had been going on for the last 15-20 years.

Along with West Bengal, similar exercise was carried out in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram, Parrikar said while responding to TMC and Congress MPs. The state government, however, wouldn't confirm or deny this.

She said that Army personnel were present in different districts like Murshidabad, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, North 24 Paraganas, Burdwan, Howrah, Hooghly et al. Mamata lashed out at him saying that he was speaking in the "voice of the Central government". She had also claimed that Army personnel were taking money from vehicles which they were not supposed to do. The police asked the Army to consider another spot.

The Maj Gen said that a recce was conducted with two inspectors of the Kolkata Police at toll plaza on November 27 last. BJP also lashed out at Mamata and her government for politicising the issue and dragging the army into it.

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While Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien tried to calm the Upper House, Opposition leaders raised slogans against Narendra Modi government and its "tanashahi" (dictatorship).

The army coup allegations has come just hours after the West Bengal CM alleged that there was assassination plot against her.

State parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee modified the charge a little on Friday when he said: "The Army hadn't taken prior permission from the state government, which they should have because law and order comes under the state's domain".

Didi, if you represent the "maa, mati, manush", please don't play with the nation's security because if the country has to surrender, there will be no national politics to fight for.

"Routine exercise in all NE states".

He said the Governor assured the delegation to send the memorandum to the Centre and let them know about their response.

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