West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has done the predictable and yet unacceptable thing by taking to the streets in the wake of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arresting her party colleague and MP, Srinjoy Bose, for his alleged role in the Saradha scam.
Predictable because Ms Banerjee is prone to such behaviour, given her grounding in mass politics. And unacceptable for the reason that while this could still have been looked at sympathetically when she was in the Opposition, as chief minister such tendencies are inexcusable.
And this time while Ms Banerjee has railed against the Centre for the arrest, she has not given any reason why the MP was ‘blameless’ if at all she thought he was. This is strange because the CBI has also arrested a retired IPS officer who is reportedly a member of the Trinamool Congress and allegedly involved in the same scam.
But on this Ms Banerjee was silent. Here one cannot but suspect that she is jittery despite her clean image because the investigation has reached the heart of her party. The Centre has clarified by saying that the CBI is pursuing its own investigation without directives from the Centre.
Ms Banerjee has done a further disservice to the cause of governance through her utterances such as the blast in Burdwan being stage-managed. In this case her indirect target of attack becomes the National Investigation Agency. And this position is untenable after looking at the statements of the various people nabbed.
Also, she has sought to turn the tables on the BJP by linking these arrests to the ones in Gujarat in the fake encounter killing cases. This is erroneous, to say the least. Each case has to be seen on its own merit. Her all-consuming anger is evident from the Trinamool’s non-participation at the all-party meeting on the insurance Bill.
It is West Bengal and its interests that should be uppermost in Ms Banerjee’s mind. The state has been on the downhill path in many spheres, including education, of which it had strong reasons to be proud of once upon a time. Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party had to eat the humble pie after his isolation following his populist ways as chief minister of Delhi.
Maybe Ms Banerjee can take lessons from his experience.