In reply to the comments made by the Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi regarding the Army deployment issue, secretary general of Trinamool Congress Partha Chatterjee said: “This is unbecoming of a Governor to pass a comment like this. Many may consider that he is representing a political party.”
The Governor, on Saturday, had said: “Don’t let down the army. Don’t defame the army.”
After failing to meet the Governor after their agitation outside Raj Bhavan on Friday, Trinamool Congress MLA including Partha Chatterjee, Subrata Mukherjee, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Firhad Hakim, Sovan Chatterjee, Aroop Biswas, Purnendu Basu and Nirmal Ghosh met the Governor on Saturday at around 3.30 p.m.
After coming out of Raj Bhavan, Chatterjee said: “I never passed any comment on the governor. But, I was sad listening to the Governor’s comment in the media. I asked him today (Saturday) that how can you pass such a comment when you yourself were not in Kolkata?”
“He then tried to make us understand that his comment was on the basis of what he was told by the Army personnel,” said Chatterjee adding: “It should not have happened like this and it is unbecoming of a Governor.”
The secretary general of the ruling party maintained: “We are not taking this in good humour and many may consider that he is representing a political party. We have given a memorandum to the Governor and told him about our grievances over deployment of army without informing the state government.”
“After handing over the memorandum, I said him that we will send him more correspondence in this connection after speaking to the Chief Minister,” Chatterjee said.
He further said: “In the memorandum we have clearly stated that how army was deployed without informing the state government. I am again saying that we have highest respect for the Army. But we have to protest if the Centre uses them for a political purpose.”
“It is sad that we are raising our voice against the Centre and right at that time senior officers of the Army were engaged to counter attack our Chief Minister. This is not good signal for a democratic country. We have nothing against the army, but our movement is against the people who are engaging them to affect the federal structure of the country,” he said adding that they have urged the Governor to take up the matter immediately with the Centre. He gave them word that the Memorandum would be forwarded to the Centre immediately.
Standing beside the state and Kolkata Police, Chatterjee said that it is a false allegation that the police were confusing the army. Chatterjee also said: “Whatever the Centre is doing with us is undemocratic and it is taking all of us towards destruction”.
The presence of Army personnel at toll plazas had triggered a row with Mamata banerjee questioning if it was an “Army coup”.
The Chief Minister had claimed that the Army personnel were taking money from the vehicles which they are not supposed to do.