West Bengal on shutdown as impasse continues, Didi on morcha

Tit for Tat the spat between CBI and Kolkata cops give Oppn. the weapon against Modi

Kolkata, Feb 4 Hours after the CBI approached the Supreme Court seeking direction to Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to join the Saradha scam probe, the top cop too has moved the Calcutta High Court against the investigating agency. The legal drama is playing out parallel to a political one, wherein Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is sitting on a dharna against the Narendra Modi-led central government.

Meanwhile, Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has sent a confidential report on Sunday’s showdown between policemen and CBI officers, who had come to question Rajeev Kumar.

Meanwhile, in Parliament, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questions how can a Police Commissioner sit on a dharna with politicians? “What is the meaning of this? By sitting on dharna, the West Bengal CM is following the footsteps of Arvind Kejriwal,” says Prasad. Ravi Shankar Prasad reminds that in 2014, Congress tweeted Rahul Gandhi’s statement that 20 lakh people lost their money in chit fund scam in West Bengal. “We took oath on May 26, 2014 so all these inquiries in Narada, Saradha scams started before us,” claims Prasad on allegations of using CBI as a political tool.

According to Mamata Banerjee, The satyagraha is not against any agency, it is against the Modi-led government’s atrocities. Sources close to Mamata have said that she knew the BJP would try and arrest Rajeev Kumar. The CM had charted out a timed plan on the offensive to strengthen her anti-Modi block and highlight her state initiatives before elections.

Meanwhile, Hitting out at the BJP, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik tweeted, “What’s happening in Bengal is a shameless display of abuse of power, throttling of our institutions and a blatant attack on our federal structure. Every patriotic Indian should stand up to evil designs of the Modi-Shah duo who are on mission to undermine our Constitution (sic).”

The ruling BJD and the opposition Congress in Odisha on Monday backed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the alleged misuse of the CBI by the Centre and claimed that the federal probe agency was being “used as a political weapon” ahead of the general elections. The BJD in a statement said, “Institutional integrity of the CBI has to be restored. We are a mature democracy and professionalism should be maintained.” Even in Odisha, sudden action by the CBI had come just before panchayat elections in the past, it said, adding, “Now, before the general elections, the move smacks of unprofessional conduct and is coloured with political motives.”

Former chief minister of J-K Mehbooba Mufti said, “Manner in which constitutional institutions in this country, like CBI, are being misused to settle scores with opponents is unfortunate…We stand with Mamata ji. If institutions continue being discredited like this federal structure will be fractured.”

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, “In interest of wanting free and fair environment in which Lok Sabha polls can be conducted, we have come to bring to the notice of Election Commission certain happenings in West Bengal which has complete cooperation of the TMC. Instances we highlighted point out that the TMC doesn’t believe in democracy.”

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the CBI action in Saradha chit fund case in West Bengal yesterday, said in Lok Sabha said, “The action was taken after SC had ordered an investigation into Saradha chit fund case. The Police Commissioner was summoned many times but he did not appear, which is why the CBI had to go to the police officers house.’ He added that it was chief minister Mamata Banerjee who was stopping CBI from investigating over the chit fund scam. Calling the incident unfortunate, Rajnath said, “There may be constitutional breakdown in West Bengal.”

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