Seeking clarification from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar
over the deployment of army personnel across the state, the Trinamool Congress
(TMC) on Friday said that it seemed the central government is trying to create an 'emergency like' situation in West Bengal.
Speaking to ANI, TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said it is a 'grave' situation when a Chief Minister is being continuously harassed and 'her life is in danger'.
"We want a clarification by Defence Minister on army deployment in Bengal, we will be very vocal about this in both the houses. It is a grave situation when a Chief Minister is being continuously harassed and her life is in danger. Without intimating state government, the way they are operating the whole system it is unbelievable and it seems that some emergency is going to be proclaimed in West Bengal," he said.
"Suddenly it was seen that army are covering big important toll plazas and they are controlling bridges under the state government. Without intimating the state government, just near the secretariat of West Bengal
government," he added.
A day after West Bengal
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
accused the Centre of deploying the army near two of the national
highway toll collection points, the BJP on Friday called her accusations baseless.
Reacting to her statement, BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh, said that it seems the West Bengal
chief minister continues to be in shock after the demonetisation
as at first she had apprehensions about less fuel in flight and then related a regular army exercise to a coup.
Stating that Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
is still staying put at the state secretariat Nabanna to protest against the deployment of the army in the area, Trinamool Congress
MP Derek O'Brien said the army personnel were still deployed in over one dozen districts of Bengal.
The army, meanwhile has maintained, that the presence of army personnel in the state was "routine" and in a Tweet, the army maintained, "Routine exercise in all NE states. In Assam @ 18 places, Arunanchal@13, WB@19, Manipur@6, Nagaland@5, Meghalaya@5, Tripura & Mizoram@1@adgpi."
However, Bengal's chief secretary, home secretary and Kolkata police commissioner maintained that no contact was made by the army. Kolkata Police added that they had, in fact, refuted the army exercise citing "security" reasons and "traffic".