New Delhi, Dec 2 (PTI) The armed forces have a "healthy civil-military relationship" and it is their duty to step up and provide relief to the civilians whenever they are called upon to do so, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said today.
"We have a healthy civil-military relationship. Wherever we have gone, we have done a commendable job. Whether it was Chennai or Jammu and Kashmir (floods) or when there has been a law and order problem. And I dont see any problem with this," he said, at an annual Navy Day press conference.
Admiral Lanba was responding to a question whether presence of armed forces in civilian areas, especially during disaster relief, is seen as a tussle in civil-military relations.
"If there is any need, the armed forces will step up and provide support in whatever form, whether it is law and order situation or disaster relief. It is well within our capability. I believe it is our duty to provide this (support) whenever we are called upon to do so," he said.
Admiral Lanba said the citizens of the country admire the armed forces and are aware that they are an effective organisation which delivers what is mandated to them.
The Navy chiefs comments come at a time when the issue of Armys presence at toll plazas in West Bengal kicked up a storm with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee remaining at the state secretariat overnight in protest, asking was it an "army coup".
The Army, on its part, strongly rebutted Banerjees allegations that its personnel were deployed at toll plazas without informing the state government, while Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too vehemently denied the charge.