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Army should be kept out of politics: Cong to TMC, BJP

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Urging political parties to refrain from dragging army into politics, Senior leader Sachin Pilot today asked both the TMC in and the at the Centre not to indulge in petty politics over functioning of the armed forces. "We would like to urge both TMC in and at the Centre not to indulge in petty politics over functioning of the armed forces. Army should not be dragged into politics.

Army fights for the nation, sacrifices their life for the safety and security of our country," Pilot told reporters here. "If the army was doing the checking without informing the state, then Defence minister should make a statement and if the army has done the checking after informing the state, then the state should come out clean on why they are making such statements. I would request both TMC and not to drag army into politics," Pilot, a former Union minister, said. The row over Army taking over road toll plazas in today echoed in Parliament with TMC seeing "sinister" designs behind the move and the vehemently denying the charge, saying it was a routine exercise conducted in full knowledge of the local authorities. The issue was raised in both Houses of Parliament with main opposition too seeking clarification on the army deployment at 19 toll plazas in In Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar termed it a "routine exercise not unique to West Bengal" and saying that similar operations to collect information on heavy vehicle movement that can be used during national emergencies was conducted in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continued to stay put at the state secretariat today protesting against army presence at toll plazas in several places of the state and asked whether it was an "army coup".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 02 2016. 14:32 IST