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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Mamata Banerjee says PM Modi, Amit Shah forced CBI to act against her

In her midnight speech, Mamata Banerjee warned that the BJP may plan President’s rule in West Bengal.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2019 01:32 IST
Avijit Ghosal and Tanmay Chatterjee
Avijit Ghosal and Tanmay Chatterjee
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Police coimmissioner Rajeev Kumar(extreme left) with Chief Mnister Mamata Banerjee at dharna in front of Metro station at Esplanade on Sunday night.
Police coimmissioner Rajeev Kumar(extreme left) with Chief Mnister Mamata Banerjee at dharna in front of Metro station at Esplanade on Sunday night.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)
         

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in a late-night speech accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of forcing the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) to act against her.

“Narendra Modi and Amit Shah were trying to put pressure on me before I organised the United India rally (in Kolkata). After the rally, they called CBI officers from Kolkata and said, ‘Kuch to karo’,” she said .

She had earlier accused them of plotting a coup against her government.

She warned that the BJP may plan President’s rule in the state as she began a dharna Sunday night after a CBI raid on Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the chit fund cases sparked a major showdown with the Centre.

 

“Please save India, please save democracy, please save Saare jahan se achha, Hindustan hamara. Modi has gone mad. I am grateful to all regional parties for their support. I request all TMC workers to demonstrate peacefully. Take out processions in all districts tomorrow but don’t cause inconvenience to the public. BJP may provoke you. But don’t fall for it. They may plan President’s rule in Bengal but we will show them our might,” she said.

Trinamool Congress said it will begin a state-wide agitation from Monday. Banerjee ordered TMC leaders to take turns in carrying out the dharna and spend six hours each at Esplanade. She had earlier said her struggle will continue till “the situation is resolved.

More drama is expected on Monday after she had announced, “Tomorrow I have the state budget. We will make a makeshift room where I shall hold the cabinet meeting to pass the budget.”

All Trinamool ministers, senior IAS and IPS officers and hundreds of Trinamool workers thronged the site of Banerjee’s dharna at Esplanade in the heart of Kolkata. A temporary stage was built at record speed on the road.

She also defended the Kolkata police chief in the eye of a storm and who had become a catalyst for her spontaneous decision to begin a dharna and lashed out at the CBI.

“Rajeev Kumar is not a crook. He is the best officer. He was never involved in the chit fund scam. From where did CBI gain such audacity to raid a police commissioner’s residence? Law and order is a state subject. Narendra Modi should not forget that. This entire operation is planned by Ajit Doval,” Banerjee said.

Kumar shared the stage with Banerjee as she began the dharna,

The Trinamool Congress chief alleged that BJP leaders involved in chit fund scams were left alone.

“I have definite proof that the BJP deputy chief minister of Assam took Rs 3 crore from a chit fund. Bengal’s BJP leader Locket Chatterjee took a flat and gold bars. Were they touched ? No.”

The showdown between the CBI and the Kolkata police which ended with the CBI team being briefly detained before being released also triggered protests later in the night with Trinamool Congress workers staging demonstrations at Midnapore railway station and burning wood on the tracks.

Banerjee who had earlier in the evening accused Prime Minister Narendra Modu and BJP chief Amit Shah of plotting a coup to over throw her government, said the duo was forcing the CBI to act against her.

Amid the drama at Esplanade, Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi summoned the state’s chief secretary, home secretary and director general of police to Raj Bhawan, senior state officials said on condition of anonymity. Top CBI officers in Kolkata had earlier sought an appointment with the governor.

The chief minister who had rushed to the police commissioner’s residence had also accused of Mpdi and Shah of plotting a coup.

“Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have teamed up to humiliate Bengal. They are trying to stage a coup in the state simply because I organised the opposition meeting on January 19. This is worse than the Emergency.”

Opposition leaders including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati, Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, NCP’s Sharad Pawar, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav were among those who called Banerjee to express solidarity with her. They said it was a blatant misuse of the CBI.

In the national capital, the CBI said it would move the Supreme Court on Monday because the Kolkata Police was not cooperating in the probe into the chit fund cases.

Interim CBI chief M Nageshwar Rao accused Kumar of destroying evidence in the chit fund cases.

“There is evidence against him (Rajeev Kumar), he has been instrumental in causing destruction of this evidence and obstructing justice,” he told ANI.

Rao said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which was constituted by the Bengal government to probe the chit fund cases under the chairmanship of Rajeev Kumar had destroyed evidences.