On Bengal resolution against CBI, ED, Mamata Banerjee draws a distinction

Published on Sep 19, 2022 09:11 PM IST

Mamata Banerjee alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Bengal are using the agencies to serve their goals and PM Modi might not be aware of it

West Bengal chief minister and Trinaool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee claimed that central agencies were being controlled by the Union home ministry. (ANI File Photo)
West Bengal chief minister and Trinaool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee claimed that central agencies were being controlled by the Union home ministry. (ANI File Photo)

KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that she does not believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked federal investigation agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to target the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Banerjee alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Bengal are using the agencies to serve their goals and PM Modi might not be aware of it.

“You are possibly not aware that these agencies are no longer under the Prime Minister’s office. They are now controlled by the Union home ministry,” the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief told the Bengal assembly during a discussion on an eight-point resolution that accused federal agencies of violating democratic norms and committing “excesses”. She did not name the Union home minister Amit Shah, in her speech but TMC legislators targeted him in their speeches.

Parliamentary affairs minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said Bengal is the first state to bring such a resolution.

Banerjee said: “The central government and a section of BJP leaders are behind this. BJP leaders here want the agencies to serve their political agenda. We will not let such excesses muzzle the voice of democracy.”

“The Centre is behaving in an autocratic manner. This resolution is not against any person but against the biased role of the agencies,” she added.

The resolution accuses federal agencies of violating democratic norms, “torturing” TMC MLAs, businessmen, government officials, shop keepers and even students while taking no action against BJP leaders who, too, are accused in several cases. The “excesses,” the resolution said, increased after the TMC came to power in Bengal for the third time in 2021.

Banerjee did not name Leader of the opposition in the assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, but repeated the “don’t touch me” remark he made at some women police personnel during the BJP’s protest on September 13.

“Why are you so scared of facing the state CID?” said Banerjee, referring to the cases the Criminal Investigation Department of the state police has filed against Adhikari.

Banerjee and her cabinet colleagues - many of them are suspects in high-profile cases being probed by the CBI and ED - have upped the ante against the Centre ever since former minister Partha Chatterjee was arrested in the school recruitment case on July 23, and TMC’s Birbhum district unit president Anubrata Mondal in the cattle smuggling cases on August 11. Minister and Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim and former minister Subrata Mukherjee were arrested in May 2021 in the Narada case.

Adhikari said the resolution against CBI and ED goes against parliamentary rules.

“The chief minister sent CID officers to my home twice. She is free to take any action against me but it will not achieve anything,” he said after the assembly was adjourned for the day.

Around a dozen TMC and BJP legislators took part in the debate.

The resolution, which was placed under Rule 169 by TMC MLAs Tapas Roy and Nirmal Ghosh, was passed with 189 legislators voting in its favour and 64 members opposing it.

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Sunday, September 25, 2022
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