Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-debated move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000, Indian politics has witnessed an unprecedented scenario in which a united Opposition showed its might to stall the Winter session of Parliament especially the Lok Sabha where the central government enjoys an overwhelming majority. But the row over Army taking over road toll plazas in West Bengal and subsequent TMC’s allegation that “sinister” designs behind the move have perhaps shown chinks in the Opposition camp. CPI(M) today lashed out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for trying “to deviate from relevant issues” and alleged that she was only doing favour to Narendra Modi government and BJP. “Mamata Banerjee is working as the 12th man in Modi-Amit Shah team, she wants to deviate from relevant issues,” CPI(M) MP Mohammed Salim said. Yesterday, CM Banerjee decided to stay put at the state secretariat for the night, even after the Army personnel were removed from a toll plaza near it as per her demand. The central government, however, denied all the charges. Army also strongly rebutted Banerjee’s allegations, saying the exercise was being carried out in coordination with Kolkata Police.
“One day there was a diversion or delay of an aircraft. Only Mamata Banerjee was not on that aircraft, many others were also there. The government has concern about all of them. She (Mamata) said it (aircraft) ran out of fuel. An enquiry was set up under DGCA. But she made it a big issue as if it is personally oriented. Second, the military is checking vehicles there (WB). They have already said it is an annual exercise. What is her problem? If she wants to rake up these issues, she can. But diverting from real issues like tackling black money, why are they hesitant on discussing that, I do not understand,” Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said.
Mamata Banerjee is working as the 12th man in Modi-Amit Shah team, she wants to deviate from relevant issues: Mohd Salim CPM pic.twitter.com/LSe2j2RSp2
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 2, 2016
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Supremo Mayawati, however, termed the military deployment in West Bengal as a deliberate move by the Centre to humiliate Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Condemning the act, Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati said that the ruling dispensation at the centre is targeting the West Bengal chief minister as she had raised her voice against the recently launched demonetisation drive. “This is not correct, our party should strongly condemn the move and the Central government should not do this. The Central government is trying to humiliate Mamata Banerjee as she has been raising her voice against demonetisation,” said Mayawati. “This is unfair to the West Bengal Chief Minister. This step is a grave attack on the Constitution. One should not politicize the army,” he added.
Raising the issue, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad sought a clarification from the Centre and asked as to why the state’s rights are being impinged on.