In a shocking incident, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee stayed overnight at her office in Nabanna in Kolkata. In her words, she is here to safeguard democracy. She has not left her office at the state secretariat since 11 am on December 1.
Disapproving the presence of army personnel at toll booths, she wanted to know if this was a coup of sorts. She refused to leave her office till the army was withdrawn from all toll plazas in the state.
When the army stated that it was a routine exercise being conducted across the eastern states, Banerjee said the state government should have been informed about it beforehand.
It may be noted when Banerjee’s flight had circulated over Kolkata airport December 1, the TMC sought to know if this was an attempt to kill her?
Banerjee accused the Centre of carrying out a political vendetta owing to the TMC’s opposition to demonetisation.
Meanwhile, stating that she was only politicising the army’s mock drill, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the Centre’s demonetisation scheme was her main issue. The party also said that she was “suffering from mental imbalance and suggested that she be admitted to a hospital”.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu termed Banerjee’s demand to withdraw the army from all toll plazas in West Bengal as nothing but ‘diversionary tactics’. He said the army was conducting regular exercises and they would continue for three more days.