Mamata vs CBI: Support pours in from opposition leaders for WB CM Mamata Banerjee’s dharna

Support from opposition leaders poured in for WB CM Mamata Banerjee whose sit-in over CBI’s attempt to question the Kolkata Police commissioner in connection with chit fund scams continued on Monday

Photo Courtesy: PTI
Photo Courtesy: PTI

NH Web Desk

Support from opposition leaders poured in for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee whose sit-in over the CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police commissioner in connection with chit fund scams continued on Monday.

On Sunday, an all-out war broke out between the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee government, with the feisty West Bengal leader beginning here dharna in front of Metro Cinema over the issue.

Support for Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress chief, poured in even as the CBI moved the Supreme Court accusing Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar of destroying evidence related to the case and of indulging in contempt of court.

"Distressed by the news out of Bengal. A complete breakdown of trust in institutions under an authoritarian Modi Govt obsessed with regaining power at all costs. Mamata Ji is resisting & has the support of all those who understand the agenda behind these moves," tweeted Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) vice-president Jayant Chaudhary.

Speaking to reporters, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said he had given a notice in the Rajya Sabha for suspension of business and demanded discussion on the "misuse of the CBI".

TMC spokesperson Derek O' Brien said all opposition parties will go to the Election Commission later on Monday over the issue in Bengal.

"Inside the House (parliament) and outside the House we will all move together. Whatever action we take will do together. This is not the CBI, it’s the parrot of Amit Shah and Modi.

"We have to save the Constitution, the country and the federal structure. Later today, all opposition parties will go to the Election Commission," O' Brien said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu told reporters that he will hold discussions with opposition party leaders in Delhi on Monday and draft an action plan on a nation-wide movement.

In his daily teleconference with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders, Naidu said after Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, it was now the turn of Mamata Banerjee to face a "witch-hunt".

Expressing solidarity with the West Bengal chief minister, the TDP chief supremo said, "Cases against those who surrender to the BJP are being lifted. They are digging out old cases against those who oppose the BJP. The recent Kolkata rally was successful, hence the vengeance against Mamata Banerjee." Accusing the Narendra Modi government of conspiring to usurp the powers of the state, he said, "They are completely damaging the Centre-state relations." "The BJP is deriving pleasure by foisting cases against opposition leaders. They are destroying the constitutional institutions," Naidu alleged, adding the issue would be discussed during his visit to New Delhi and an action plan in this regard would be chalked out.

"TDP MPs will strongly protest along with other opposition leaders today on the CBI issue," he said.

Rashtriya Janata Dal's Manoj Jha said the opposition's protest was against the pride of the Modi government.

"After the Alok Verma incident CBI does not have any credibility. After the elections, we will see who will go to jail," said Jha.

"What happened in West Bengal is an attack on a state's federal rights guaranteed by our constitution. We stand with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee,” Karnataka CM @hd_kumaraswamy tweeted this morning.

“#MamtaVsCBI Misuse of the Investigative agencies such as CBI, ED, is on the rise which is harmful in democracy & therefore day by day people are losing faith in these agencies. I support dharna of Mamtaji. @MamataOfficial,” tweeted Sharad Yadav, Loktantrik Janata Dal party chief.

“Destruction of democracy & constitution: What is being unleashed by @narendramodi-@AmitShah duo through CBI in Kolkata is nothing but a combination of undeclared emergency & fascism.The way CBI has targeted @MamataOfficial must be condemned by all of us across political lines,” tweeted independent MLA from Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani.

“In solidarity with @MamataOfficial. History stands testament to how JK has faced the wrath of central agencies. It’s disheartening to see how institutions are being hijacked only to discredit political opponents . Doesn’t bode well for the Centre - State relationship,” tweeted Mehbooba Mufti, Jammu and Kashmir CM.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday also accused the Modi government of trying to scare and intimidate the opposition by using government agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

"Besides the ongoing developments in West Bengal, similar things are heard from other states as well," the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said in reference to the confrontation in Kolkata between the CBI and Kolkata Police.

"The BJP government is misusing the premier investigative agency to further its political ends just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections," the 45-year-old said.

Akhilesh Yadav added that it was not only his party that was making such allegations but many other opposition parties seemed to be thinking on the same lines too.

He also accused the Modi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party of "politicising institutions".

He had earlier spoken to the West Bengal Chief Minister on Sunday night and extended his support to Mamata Banerjee as she took on the Centre over a reported effort by the agency to arrest the Kolkata Police Commissioner for his alleged complicity in a chit fund scam.

Akhilesh Yadav has sent party Vice President Kiranmoy Nanda to take part in the sit-in and convey the party's support to her.

(with inputs from agencies)

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