It’s been more than 24 hours now that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is at her Kolkata office, saying she will only go home when the Army pulls out from toll booths across the state. "Is this a military coup?" a furious Mamata asked.
The Centre and the Army have said that the soldiers are at the toll booth in a routing vehicle counting exercise. They have also refuted Mamata’s allegation that the state government was not informed about the same.
The issue also echoed in the parliament on Friday. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that he is ‘shocked and hurt’ and said it was unfortunate that the Army was being dragged into a controversy.
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"It is done in different states with the consent of officials," Parrikar said. A united opposition backed Trinamool Congress as it raised the issue 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 the Bahujan Samaj Party.