With Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleging that the army has been deployed at two toll plazas in West Bengal without informing the state government, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday dubbed it as a 'cheap political stunt' done to defame the government and drag the army into an 'unnecessary controversy'.
Talking to the media, Naidu said it is a mischievous and a dirty campaign launched by some political opponents about a routine army drill in different states of the country.
"This is an ongoing exercise, collecting data in all the north-eastern states, including Assam, Arunachal, West Bengal, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. This is by eastern command of the army....this is an annual exercise carried out every year. In the same location, and in the same state, last year the exercise was carried out between 19 and 21 November," he said.
"Similar exercise is being carried out in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and in Bihar from 26 October to November 1 under the south western command......... It is a cheap political stunt to defame the govt & drag army into unnecessary controversy with does not exist," he added.
Launching attack at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his 'TRP politics' comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naidu said the grand old party is themselves doing politics as they are becoming 'irrelevant'.
"What is TRP? You people are doing TRPs because you are becoming irrelevant. People have rejected your Bandh call, they have rejected your Akhrosh rally, you are divided badly, you don't have a common strategy, you have n argument to put forth to the country. That is why you are not allowing the house," he added.
He said that the Congress Party is held band upon committing contempt of democracy.
"The Prime Minister is the darling of the masses. He has taken a historic and a bold decision, the entire world is appreciating his movement towards digital transfer....they are making unnecessary absurd allegation. The congress is not constructive they are obstructive," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)