Mamata Banerjee begins dharna, says PM Modi, Amit Shah plotting coup in Bengal
Mamata Banerjee accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah of plotting a ‘coup’ in Bengal.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee began her ‘Save the Constitution’ dharna around 8:45 pm Sunday at Esplanade in the heart of the Kolkata to protest the move of the CBI to question Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar as she accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah of plotting a ‘coup’.
The site of her dharna is close to where she carried out a hunger strike protesting the Tata Nano plant in Singur in 2006.
“I will start a dhrana in front of Metro as long as this attack is not stopped. I shall go to the spot and launch the dharna right now,” Banerjee said earlier in the evening. “Tomorrow I have the state budget. We will make a makeshift room where I shall hold the cabinet meeting to pass the budget.”
She said her struggle will continue till “the situation is resolved.” Her comments came as she visited the police commissioner’s residence after a CBI team which showed up to quiz the Kolkata Police chief was detained by the local police.
“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.”
In the national capital, Union minister of state for personnel Dr Jitendra Singh defended the CBI action.
“When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was chief minister of Gujarat, he set an example by cooperating with all the CBI probes launched against him, though all the allegations against him were unfounded. Here in the case of West Bengal, the cases are supported by reasonable evidence but still the state government has fought with the CBI which show they have something to hide and it also indicates their guilt,” he said.
She accused National Security Adviser Ajit Doval of being the Prime Miister’s handmaiden. “Mr Doval who is in charge of NSA is carrying out instructions of Modi. Doval is giving instructions to the CBI,” she alleged.
The chief minister said her government had formed a Special Investigation Team and returned Rs 300 crore to the poor people who lost their money in the Saradha scam.
“Saradha was formed in 1980. CPI(M) brought them, but there was no investigation against them. It’s more than five years since the investigation began. Whenever there is an election -- 2014 LS polls, 2016 Assembly polls, 2018 panchayat polls -- this issue is raked up,” she alleged.
“They cannot fight me politically. If you have any documents, warrants, you can certainly come,” she remarked.
“How can you visit the house of the Kolkata Police commissioner without a warrant? Is it a secret operation?... Next they will visit the house of the home secretary and the chief secretary,” she added.
“If Modi can’t be removed, the country will be ruined. Will they now proceed to Article 355 and 356?” she said.
(With input from Rajesh Ahuja)