Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati have supported West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's alleged military coup claim in the state
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati have supported West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s alleged military coup claim in the state, while the Congress party has raised questions over the deployment of armed forces in the state.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha today, Mayawati said the deployment of the military in West Bengal was a deliberate move by Centre to humiliate Banerjee. On Thursday, Banerjee sent shockwaves across the state by deciding not to go home and remain at the state secretariat, Nabanna, to protest against the “sudden deployment” of the army in the area and “guard the democracy”. Banerjee stayed in her office at the secretariat throughout the night and objected to the presence of Army jawans at toll booths, one of them was just 500 metres from her location. Banerjee even asked: “Is this a military coup?”
The West Bengal chief minister alleged that the state government was not informed about what the Army said was a “routine exercise” that it was conducting across eastern states.
Supporting Banerjee’s claim, Kejriwal asked her to keep fighting against the centre as the entire nation is with her. “WB is being targetted becoz Mamtadi dared to speak against demonitization. Mamtadi, keep up the fight. Whole nation is wid u,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Mayawati alleged that the Centre is targeting Banerjee 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 politicise the army,” she added.
However, the Indian Army released a number of correspondence with the West Bengal authorities to prove the state government had prior information about the routine exercise.
Army’s letters (written earlier) in connection with the force deployment in West Bengal. pic.twitter.com/YUm4BiOI5k
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 2, 2016
Speaking in the Parliament today, Congress Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad questioned as to why the Army was deployed in West Bengal. He sought a clarification from the Centre and questioned as to why the state’s rights are being compromised. “It seems out of the way. Army doesn’t collect toll? There is no law and order issue in West Bengal for Army to be deployed? The centre must clarify it, in fact, PM must clarify as to why state’s rights are being impinged on,” Azad said
The Union government has, however, rubbished Opposition’s claims. MoS Defence Subhash Ramrao Bhamre said, “Army was in Bengal for a routine exercise.” Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said, “It is a cheap political stunt to defame the govt & drag army into unnecessary controversy.”
The Communist Party of India (M) has attacked Banerjee for her coup claims. “Mamata Banerjee is working as the 12th man in Modi-Amit Shah team, she wants to deviate from relevant issues,” CPM’s Mohd Salim said.
Meanwhile, TMC has claimed the state government never issued permission to the Army for the exercise. “Open challenge to Government of India to show papers that West Bengal government has given permission to deploy army, if shown, I will hang my head in shame,” TMC leader Derek O’Brien said.
(Inputs from ANI)