oppn parties Army Exercise: Ill-Advised Protest in Bengal

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  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
  • CBI raids offices of Amnesty International across India
  • Supreme Court quashes NCLAT order against Arcelor Mittal and paves the way for the company to take over ailing Essar Steel
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says concerns of telcos will be addressed and no company will close down
  • Government thinking of providing higher insurance coverage on bank deposits
  • Mayank Agarwal scores a double century as India take firm grip on the first Test versus Bangladesh
  • Supreme Court warns Rahul Gandhi to be more careful in future but drops contempt proceedings in the "chor" case
  • In a flip-flop, Vodafone CEO says sorry to the government, sys no plan to exit India
Supreme Court dismisses plea for review in Rafale case, says no need for roving inquiry, maintains clean chit to government
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Army Exercise: Ill-Advised Protest in Bengal

By Slogger

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Holding an extreme view and carting the ball out of the park is what interests him most. He is a hard hitter at all times. Fasten your seatbelts and read.
The Army deployment in Bengal has created a “fantastic” situation, but not in the way Mamata Banerjee thinks. It is fantastic because ignoring facts, a democratically elected state government is accusing the democratically elected Central government of using the apolitical Army for “political vendetta” for conducting a routine Army exercise.

Ever since PM Modi announced demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, Banerjee has been pulling out all stops in a bid to discredit him and his government. She has vowed that she will make him leave politics. While that can be a genuine mission for a politician, seeing demons and conspiracies everywhere is not.

The Army has released letters it had sent to the local police stations and the police top brass in Kolkata and Howrah, seeking permission and cooperation to conduct the exercise. This is an annual exercise the Army conducts to keep tabs on heavy vehicles that can be requisitioned in case of a military emergency. It was done in Bengal last year too. Why didn’t Mamata cry foul then? What has changed (except demonetization and worsening relations with Modi) since then that Mamata sees this as “political vendetta?”

Mamata Banerjee is in an overdrive to assume the mantle of a crusader against Modi. She has been touring the northern states to hold rallies against demonetization. She has even obliquely called Nitish Kumar gaddar after he refused to be a partner in her crusade. Her finance minister has already hinted that the GST Bill might be in trouble. But what will she achieve with all this?

Her appeal is negligible outside of Bengal. People elsewhere see her more as a rabble rouser and anti-industry. Her rally in Delhi before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections flopped as Anna Hazare chose not to align with her. Now she has found an ally in Arvind Kejriwal, an equally famous, if not equally experienced, rabble rouser.

But her move to take on the Army is ill-advised. Already there were all kinds of whispers when she vehemently opposed demonetization. With her latest protest against the Army, Mamata will make more enemies than friends. For, images shown on national television have proved beyond doubt that the cops in Bengal are helping the Army carry out the exercise. How then is the Bengal government saying that it was kept in the dark?