Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar wrote a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, expressing his pain over her dragging the Army into a controversy. In a two-page letter, Parrikar has explained why the army was present and lamented the lack of discretion on the Chief Minister’s part. He stated that Mamata should have spoken to state agencies and inquired about the exercise. Parrikar further said that the allegation could bring down the morale of the army and an action such as this was not expected from someone of “your standing and experience in public life” He further said it is easy for political parties to bring allegations against each other but matters become much more complicated when the armed forces are involved. Mamata Banerjee last week alleged that the Army had carried out an exercise in the state, including near the state Secretariat, despite “explicit denial of permission” by Kolkata Police. She alleged that the exercise was held because she spoke out against demonetisation.