<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finally leaving the secretariat office after 36 hours, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came out guns blazing at the Centre as she threatened to take legal action against the Narendra Modi government if Army deployment is not removed from certain areas across the state. ‘If Government doesn’t withdraw army deployed in the state, we will fight legally,’ she said after emerging from the Secretariat. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief also branded the present regime as a ‘daku government’, further alleging that the Centre is looting the country. ‘Modi government has become ‘Daku government’, just want to say that Modi ji is looting people’s money,’ she added. Meanwhile, responding to Mamata’s ultimatum, Wing Commander S S Birdi of the Eastern Command CPRO said ‘the Army deployment (in West Bengal) won’t be called off as it is a routine exercise and will continue till midnight today.’Mamata has accused the central government of “deploying the army” along a highway toll plaza at the second Hooghly Bridge, about 500 metres from the secretariat ‘Nabanna’ in neighbouring Howrah district.Earlier today, TMC threw an open challenge to the Centre to come forth with the documents proving that the West Bengal Government gave the green signal for the deployment of Army troops in certain areas in the state.Speaking to ANI, TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien asserted that no such document existed, adding that he would hang his head in shame if the government could prove him otherwise.Nevertheless, the Parliament again witnessed ruckus today as the opposition continued to corner the Centre over the army’s deployment in West Bengal. The Army on its part strongly rebutted Banerjee’s allegations that its personnel were deployed at toll plazas without informing the state government and were collecting money, saying the exercise was being carried out in coordination with Kolkata Police. The Army personnel, however, had left the toll plaza near the secretariat last night. TMC MLAs and ministers also staged a dharna outside Raj Bhavan in Kolkata. Banerjee left the state secretariat in the evening after she spent over 24 hours and fired a fresh salvo at the Modi government.Accusing the Modi government of making a “wrong and concocted” statement in Parliament regarding the deployment of Army, Banerjee said her voice could not be stifled by “hatching conspiracy and showing force”. Banerjee also said the state government will take legal recourse if there is no withdrawal of army personnel from all toll plazas in the state.Speaking to reporters late last night at ‘Nabanna’, the state secretariat in Kolkata, she said, “I will stay at the secretariat to guard our democracy”. “Is this a military coup’” she asked. She said that army personnel were there in different districts like Murshidabad, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, North 24 Paragans, Burdwan, Howrah, Hooghly etc. “The army is deployed without informing the state government. This is unprecedented and a very serious matter.” The issue was raised in both Houses of Parliament with main opposition Congress too seeking clarification on the army deployment at 19 toll plazas in West Bengal.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday launched a series of scathing attacks on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who objected to army’s presence in the state, saying her ‘unnerved mind has given way to hallucination, which certainly requires medical care.’ BJP says Mamata rattled by demonetization BJP leader Sidharth Nath Singh said that the Chief Minister’s mind has been rattled after the Centre demonetized Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes.While listing out the ‘chronology of Mamata’s rattled mind to hallucinating mind’ after the Chief Minister equated the mock drill by the army to a coup, Singh said.‘First calling it financial emergency and demanding complete roll back. Saying united opposition will march to the President, however few takers in the opposition ranks. Threatening of riots in the country and giving 72 hours deadline to the Prime Minister. Holding Dharnas in UP and Bihar, although poorly attended. Conspiracy of her being eliminated by not allowing aircraft to land on a low fusel. Recent, and the worst, creating panic that there is an attempt of army coup,’ Singh stated in an official press release.Singh further said it was unfortunate that the Indian army had to come up with a proof that they had informed the state administration much ahead of their routine drill.‘This is the lowest of the low for Mamata for which she must apologies to the Indian Army and her MPs to the nation for stalling the Parliament,’ Singh said .In Lok Sabha, Parrikar termed the deployment a “routine exercise not unique to West Bengal” and saying similar operations to collect information on heavy vehicle movement that can be used during national emergencies had last month being conducted in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and JharkhandAlong with West Bengal, similar exercise was carried out in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram, Parrikar said while responding to TMC and Congress MPs.He also stated that originally the exercise was planned for November 28-30 but was shifted to December 1 and 2 at the request of Kolkata Police as those dates were clashing with the protests against demonetisation.”It is shocking that a Chief Minister is saying this. The Army’s deployment was part of routine exercise which has been going on for several years, which has been going on for last 15-20 years. Even last year it was held on November 19 to 21.” “Concerned officials were informed in West Bengal. The original date was fixed for November 28 to 30 but due to Bharat Bandh the local police had advised the army to shift it to December 1 and 2,” he said. “Due to traffic congestion, the exercise is being done with the help of local police.” TMC leaders in both Houses alleged that neither the state government, nor local administration including police were taken into confidence on the exercise or their permission sought.Congress and BSP too wanted to know from the government how such an unprecedented move to carry out an army exercise without taking state government into confidence was done.”It was very unfortunate that army has been dragged into an unnecessary controversy,” Parrikar said. “It was political frustration rather than projection of correct situation.” The Army also released letters written to the West Bengal government on the exercise.”It is happening in nine states now across 80 locations,” GOC Bengal area (officiating) Maj Gen Sunil Yadav said.Reacting to Chief Minister’s allegations on collection of money, he said, “We deny all charges with all contempt.” “Allegations of collection of money by Army personnel are also totally baseless,” he added. Banerjee today said the Home Secretary has written to the Centre asking for the withdrawal of Army and even after that “they are not removed then the state will seek legal assistance”.”There must be constitutional earmark. The Home Secretary has written again (asking for the removal of the Army). But still if they are not removed and kept here forcefully we will seek legal assistance. Law will take its own course,” Banerjee said.”We will continue the people’s fight. Threatening them will not be able to stop them,” Banerjee said.With inputs from PTI and ANI

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