Kolkata: Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Friday asked political parties not to drag the army into politics, following a row over the deployment of soldiers at toll plazas in West Bengal.
Pilot urged both the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal and the BJP at the centre not to indulge in petty issues over functioning of the armed forces.
“Army should not be dragged into politics. The army fights for the nation, sacrifices their life for the safety and security of our country,” Pilot said.
“If the army was doing the checking without informing the state, then defence minister should make a statement and if the army has done the checking after informing the state, then the state government should come out clean on why they are making such statements,” the former union minister said.
The brouhaha over the army taking over road toll plazas in the state was raised in Parliament with Trinamool smelling “sinister” motives behind the move and the government strongly refuting the charge, stating it was a routine exercise conducted with full knowledge of the local authorities.
The issue was raised in both Houses of Parliament with main opposition Congress too seeking a clarification on the army deployment at 19 toll plazas in West Bengal.
In Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar labelled it a “routine exercise not unique to West Bengal”.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stayed put at the state secretariat in Nabanna last night protesting against army presence at toll plazas in several places going to the extent of saying whether it was an “army coup”.
First Published | 2 December 2016 4:22 PM