New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticising her for making allegations against the Indian Army.
Calling the controversy avoidable, Parrikar on Thursday wrote: "This exercise is being carried out by all formations of the army throughout the country for many years as per the dates convenient with them in consultation with the concerned agencies of the state government."
Banerjee on December 1 accused the government of "deploying the army" along two highway toll plazas while keeping the state government "in the dark".
Defending the army's position, Parrikar said: "The Indian Army is one of the most disciplined institutions in our country, dedicated to the safety and security of the nation. The country is proud of their professionalism and apolitical conduct."
To put the record straight, the Indian Army had presented the evidence of their communication with the concerned agencies in the public domain.
Speaking about the adverse effect on the morale of the army due this controversy, Parrikar said: "Your allegation in this regard runs the risk of adversely impacting the morale of the country's armed forces and same were not expected from a person of your standing and experience in public life."
"Political parties and politicians may have the luxury of making wild and unsubstantial allegations against each other but one needs to be extremely careful while referring to our armed forces. I am sure you would appreciate this," he said.