• Associate Sponsor

Army deployment at toll plazas in WB: Govt trying to create ‘fear psychosis’, says TMC

The Centre clarified that the army was only performing a routine duty of collecting data about trucks and other vehicles that can be used during public emergencies.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: December 2, 2016 7:27 pm
Mamata banerjee, west bengal, bengal toll booths, Rajya sabha, Army at tooll booths, west bengal, west bengal toll plazas, army, army deployment at toll plazas, trinamool congress, TMC, toll booth army, army toll booth, Army at Toll plazas, west bengal army toll booths, west bengal chief minister, Demonetisation, demonetisation news, demonetisation effects, Rajya Sabha, Rajya sabha debate, demonetisation debate, narendra modi, PM Modi, PM Modi demonetisation, Derek o'brien, Rajya sabha demonetisation, opposition, opposition demonetisation, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Vankaiah Naidu, Central government, west bengal government, india news, indian express news Army Jawans during vehicles checking at second Hoogly river Bridge toll plaza, on Thursday. (Source: Express photo)

Opposition parties led by the Trinamool Congress on Friday charged the government with trying to create a ‘fear psychosis’ in West Bengal by deploying army units at toll plaza without informing the state administration. Rajya Sabha witnessed noisy scenes on Friday morning after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee spent the night at the government secretariat in Kolkata, alleging that there was an attempt to dethrone her by an army coup.

The Centre clarified that the army was only performing a routine duty of collecting data about trucks and other vehicles that can be used during public emergencies. The government also maintained that the West Bengal government had been informed about this exercise that happens at routine intervals. But the Opposition was not convinced.

TMC leader Partha Chatterjee, accused the Modi government of using the Army for politics and said that the situation is very unfortunate. “The manner in which Modi government is using the Army for politics has never happened before. We have the highest respect for the Army, but the situation is very unfortunate.” Speaking on the Army’s statement that the state was informed he said, “We were not informed. We had not given permission to Army.”

WATCH VIDEO: Row Over West Bengal ”Military Coup” Issue Escalates- Who Said What

“The army was deployed at 19 places in West Bengal without the information of the state administration. There is an attempt to create a fear psychosis amongst the people. I must remind this government that the people of Bengal have fought against the British and they are ready to fight against (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s autocracy as well,” Sukhendu Shekhar Roy of the Trinamool Congress said in the Rajya Sabha.

Before him, leader of Opposition in the House, Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress had also raised the issue, wanting to know why army’s deployment at some of the toll plazas in the state had become necessary.

“Strange things are happening in this country. Something like this has never happened before. It is very surprising. It is also the first time that a chief minister of a state has had to spend the night in the secretariat. I would like to the government to clarify on this,” Azad said.

Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said the Opposition had got its facts wrong. He claimed that this was a routine exercise done by the Army and was slated for November 28 and 29. He said district officials in the state had requested that the dates be shifted in view of the Bharat Bandh called by some political parties on November 28 to protest against government’s decision to demonetize 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

“This is a routine annual data collection exercise and is being done in coordination with the state government. The dates of the exercise were changed at the specific request of Kolkata police and other officials,” the minister said.

Bhamre said such exercises had happened in the past in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. He said it was a routine exercise to collect data on vehicles that can be used during “national emergencies”.

The reference to “national emergencies” angered the Opposition who wanted to know what the minister meant by that. Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu intervened to clarify that national emergencies could be floods, tsunami or cyclones.

TMC’s Derek O’Brien said he would challenge the Defence Minister’s version of events and place documentary evidence to this effect on Monday.

The Rajya Sabha could function only one hour in the morning. As soon as the Question Hour began at noon, the Opposition once again started repeating its demand for an apology from the Prime Minister on his comments a few days ago. Modi had said Opposition parties were protesting against demonetisation because they did not get adequate time to dispose their black money.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. V
    Dec 2, 2016 at 10:35 am
    Public knows that it is other way around, She is suffering from psychosis or neurosis, need a psychiatrist to cure.
    1. A
      Dec 2, 2016 at 11:50 am
      Good to see the army say it bak
      1. A
        Dec 2, 2016 at 11:51 am
        After Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee is suffering from Modi Phobia that is after after Demonetization .That is why she has gone under depression and for that she is trying all tricks to come out of it but going deeper and deeper of Sea.However one suggests her to become normal, she must concentrate on good governance in WB state.She must know her limitation in Indian Politics after seeing how she mustered support from other political Parties while she was in Delhi and UP and Bihar. Everywhere she got Cold reception.
        1. D
          Dec 2, 2016 at 12:05 pm
          In Terms of Cricket, she is a local club player and scores many centuries against other clubs and now she desires to be a Test Player without playing any Ranji Trophy Tournaments. She must know her limitation in Indian Politics.She has become a laughing stock in Public by her activities since Demonetization.O' God give her some wisdom to be a normal person !
          1. C
            Dec 2, 2016 at 11:37 am
            TMC Mamta should take care of the Stat4e like the CMs of Tamil Nadu or Andhra. But she is not . That is why the Centrer is interfereing. She is like Kejriwal , just talking talking and talking and zero in action
            1. Load More Comments