New Delhi: The BJP on Monday reacted strongly over the unprecedented face-off between the West Bengal government and CBI, questioning Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s motive of staging a dharna.
Amidst high political drama in West Bengal, Banerjee is sitting on her ‘Save the Constitution’ dharna at Metro Channel in Kolkata since Sunday night, in protest against the CBI move to arrest the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar from his residence. The team was not allowed and the police, in turn, detained the officials in a high voltage drama.
“What is happening? A Police Commissioner is sitting on a dharna with politicians? What is the meaning of this? By sitting on a dharna, the West Bengal Chief Minister is following the footsteps of Arvind Kejriwal,” said Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad while taking a jibe at Banerjee for blocking a fair investigation into the Saradha and Rose Valley scams.
Reading out a 2014 tweet by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who was then the party’s vice president, Prasad remarked: “In 2014, Congress tweeted Rahul Gandhi’s statement that 20 lakh people lost their money in chit fund scam in West Bengal. We were not in power at that time when the Rose Valley, Narada and Saradha scams took place. We took oath on May 26, 2014, so all these inquiries in Narada and Saradha scams started before us”.
Accusing Banerjee of blocking a fair investigation into the scams, the Union Minister said: “Is it a crime to investigate scams? If you are not scared of a fair investigation, then why are you protecting the Police Commissioner who was heading the SIT in these scams?”
Prasad also expressed discontent over Banerjee’s silence on her TMC members who are accused in the three scams.
Trashing TMC’s claim that the CBI team did not have any search warrant to question Kumar, the Union Minister clarified that the CBI had issued summons thrice to the Kolkata Police chief but he did not appear for questioning as he made “excuses”.
“The West Bengal government is determined to block any fair investigation in these scams. They try to save these people and the evidence may have been destroyed or manipulated with,” he said.
Prasad also hit out at the Banerjee government for the deteriorating law and order situation, saying that people were “hungry” for a change and accused the TMC of murdering democracy in West Bengal.
Taking a swipe at the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance), Prasad dubbed the alliance as an “opportunistic alliance” and “coalition of the corrupt.”