Hitting back at BJP for its claim that army presence at toll plazas in West Bengal was routine exercise conducted in full knowledge of local authorities, TMC leader Derek O’Brien on Friday asked the Centre to “show the document” which proves that the state had “invited” or given “permission” for it.
Kolkata Police had in fact written a letter stating that Army should “not be sent” to the state, O’Brien said, adding that he would place that letter before Parliament on Monday.
“The central government should show us a single letter which proves that the West Bengal government had invited army to the state. There is no such letter.“There is only one letter written by Kolkata Police Additional Commissioner...I will table that letter on Monday morning (in Parliament)...it says that the army should not be sent there. Show us a letter or document which says the army was given permission,” he said outside Parliament.
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O’Brien claimed he had also spoken to some of the former chief ministers to know if state government’s permission was required for army deployment in a state. “They all said, yes”.
“Without the permission of the state, the army cannot go in. Where is the letter? I challenge...show us the letter,” he said.
Earlier, the row over Army taking over road toll plazas in West Bengal echoed in Parliament with TMC seeing “sinister” designs behind the move and the government vehemently denying the charge, saying it was a routine exercise conducted in full knowledge of the local authorities.
BJP claimed that Army’s presence at toll plazas was an “annual exercise” which was projected in a “wrong way” and charged Banerjee with “stalling” Parliament proceedings by such “diversionary” tactics.
Banerjee, on Thursday, decided to stay at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ for the night, even after the force was removed from a toll plaza near it as per her demand.