New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar said on Friday that the army was conducting a routine exercise in West Bengal and the northeastern states and also rejected the allegations levelled by TMC that state government was not informed about it.
"This is a routine exercise of the Army which has been continuing since last 15 to 20 years. This exercise was conducted last year too between 19 to 21 November," Parikkar said in Lok Sabha.
"Even this year, the same exercise was being conducted in West Bengal and other northeastern states. This was also done in Uttar Pradesh and Jhakhand," he added.
"Earlier, it was decided that the exercises would take place between 28 to 30 November. But state police urged to extend to dates as there was shut down on 28 November. So it was decided that the exercises would take place between 1 to 3 December," Parikkar said.
He also accused the TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of politicising the matter.
"It is saddening that a routine exercise has been made a controversy now. It is wrong to politicise it. This is politics in frustration rather than correct aspect being pointed out," Parikkar said.
Earlier, raising the matter during question hour, TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay the army deployment was done by keeping the state government in dark.
He said that army was deployed along a highway toll plaza, which is at the second Hooghly Bridge and about 500m from the secretariat.
"The Chief Minister is still sitting on Dharna inside the secretariat demanding immediate withdrawal of the army," he said.
Published Date: Dec 02, 2016 01:10 pm | Updated Date: Dec 02, 2016 01:15 pm