Opposition leaders in West Bengal intensified their attack on the ruling Trinamool Congress on Tuesday after the Supreme Court upheld an order for a CBI inquiry into the Narada sting videos.
The Calcutta high court ordered on Friday a probe by the central agency into the alleged scandal that erupted in March last year, just before the state assembly elections, when Narada News portal uploaded a series of videos purportedly showing Trinamool leaders, including ministers, receiving bribe money for favours to a fictitious company.
The Congress and CPM announced mass protests and demanded resignation of all scam-tainted Trinamool ministers and MPs. The BJP sought dismissal of the Mamata Banerjee government.
“She has no moral right to rule. She should step down immediately. We will meet the governor tomorrow and request him to ask the President to dismiss the Trinamool government,” said Dilip Ghosh, state BJP president and a lawmaker from Kharagpur.
“It’s sad to see the chief minister protecting tainted leaders. The same Banerjee resigned from the NDA government after BJP leader Bangaru Laxman was caught taking a bribe in a similar sting video in 2001. Laxman faced a CBI probe and was sent to jail,” he recounted.
The state BJP leader dared chief minister Banerjee to show courage, and taunted that she can’t take action as she is surrounded by corrupt leaders.
“I don’t think this government will last the four years it has,” he said.
The BJP will take out a procession in Kolkata on Wednesday.
CPM state secretary Suryakanta Mishra said his party will organise rallies against the government till tainted Trinamool leaders were arrested.
The Congress too made similar remarks.
Party leader Abdul Mannan, who filed the first public interest litigation after the Saradha scam was exposed in 2013, said: “If the chief minister has the honesty that she claims to possess, she should ask the accused leaders to step down. Her silence is proof of her endorsement.”
After the high court order, the Congress and CPIM workers had organised street protests in Kolkata and its adjoining districts.
State Congress general secretary Om Prakash Mishra demanded action by the Calcutta high court against the chief minister. “As a constitutional functionary, can the chief minister offer legal and political help to people against whom the court has ordered an investigation? Don’t her actions make her a co-conspirator in this case?”
Slogan-shouting leftist and Congress councilors gheraoed Kolkata mayor Sovon Chatterjee, who too was seen in a video, during the civic agency’s budget session last week.
Opposition councilors continued their stir on Monday and Tuesday as well.