National security should be the prime priority of any country, because if there is no nation then there will be no Didi or Modi.
On December 1, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that it was an Emergency-like situation as the presence of the Army was witnessed at toll plazas and the West Bengal secretariat, Nabanna.
However, the Army and the government dismissed the CM's claim saying it was a routine exercise practised by the Army, which began on November 27 and will be carried out across the country.
"There is nothing alarming about this and it is carried out as per government orders," said wing commander SS Birdi, speaking to reporters in Kolkata
"Army formations in Eastern Command at local levels are carrying out routine annual data collection exercises in coordination with local police authorities. Exercise involves collection of data in all North Eastern states, including Assam, Arunachal, West Bengal, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim," he added.
Speaking to reporters late last night at Nabanna, Mamata Banerjee said, “I will stay at the secretariat to guard our democracy.”
She went on to ask: "Is this a military coup?”
She said that Army personnel were present in different districts like Murshidabad, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, North 24 Paraganas, Burdwan, Howrah, Hooghly et al.
"The Army is deployed without informing the state government. This is unprecedented and a very serious matter", Banerjee said.
The TMC leadership has decided to raise the issue in both the houses of Parliament and also inform President Pranab Mukherjee about the incident.
"We are talking to all political parties. We are planning to raise the issue in Parliament today. Let’s see," TMC national spokesperson Derek O' Brien told PTI.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar told Parliament that he is "shocked and hurt" and that it is unfortunate that the Army is being dragged into the controversy because of what he called Mamata Banerjee's "political frustration".
The Army, the minister said, was conducting a routine exercise in Bengal and other states, as it had done in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand last year. "It is done in different states with the consent of officials," Parrikar said.
A united Opposition backed Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress as it brought up the matter in both houses of Parliament.
"We need the Army, but the Army comes only after the permission of the state. They have come without the permission in West Bengal, this is an attack on the federal structure," said Mayawati of Bahujan Samaj Party.
The Army has released letters to show that it was in communication with the West Bengal police on the annual exercise to "gather statistical data about load carriers that could be made available to the army in case of a contingency."
The Army has also called "baseless" the Bengal government's allegation regarding Army personnel collecting toll at the booths from vehicles passing through.
The Kolkata Police had written back to the army asking them not to conduct the exercise near Nabanna, the state secretariat in capital Kolkata, which also houses the chief minister's office. The police asked the Army to consider another spot.
What is military coup or coup d'état?
Military coup or coup d'état termed as "blow of state" or "hit of state", but it literary means "stroke of the state" or overthrowing an elected government by the military or other elites within the state apparatus.
Tirade versus facts:
Fact: This was a routine exercise conducted by the Army every year to check the security condition of the country.
Fact: Army officials, at the press conference, revealed the official documents which proved that before the exercise was conducted, the Army spoke to the district official, Kolkata Police and other concerned administrative officials.
How can this be called a military coup? How is this emergency situation?
Today, the spokesperson of TMC Partha Chatterjee said, "The central government made the exercise keeping the government in dark."
Chatterjee is the administration not a part of the government? It is the administrative officials who represent the government officially and not the politicians.
Didi, if you represent the “maa, mati, manush”, please don't play with the nation's security because if the country has to surrender, there will be no national politics to fight for.
Don't play a Mir Jafar; India has suffered much because of the likes of him and “we” are not ready to suffer for you.