New Delhi [India]: All Opposition parties on Sunday extended support to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after a mega showdown between the state police and officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Banerjee is sitting on dharna at Metro Channel in Kolkata, accompanied by city police Chief Rajeev Kumar. She protested the move of the CBI to question Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said that the federal structure of India is sacrosanct and cannot be violated.
“Today, we face an unprecedented crisis which, if not addressed urgently, can lead to anarchy. The Prime Minister is directly in-charge of the CBI which must function as per the constitution and within the ambit of law, and not further BJP’s agenda. The federal structure of the Republic of India is sacrosanct and can’t be violated nor any agency used to create volatility and instability in Bengal or any other state. Is this Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of ‘cooperative federalism’?” Congress leader Anand Sharma tweeted.
Taking to Twitter, former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Devegowda likened the situation in West Bengal with the Emergency days.
He said: “I am shocked learning about the CBI rushing to arrest the Police Commissioner and subsequent developments in West Bengal. The country has faced similar kind of unconstitutional methods during the Emergency. Situation in WB is similar to that of the emergency days. #SaveDemocracy”
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav said that there has been an unprecedented crisis happening on the Constitution and the constitutional institutions of the country. He added that the BJP is trying to shed the country in civil war for electoral victory in forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“We extend full support to Mamta Banerjee ji against the manner in which the country, the constitution and the people’s freedom are in danger because of the harassing policies of the BJP government and the openly political misuse of the CBI. Today the Opposition and the people of the country are united to defeat the BJP in the next election. The common man of the country is against the BJP and its alliance partner favoritious CBI. We are standing with Mamta ji. Dictatorship is being dancing naked. The biggest threat to democracy. Unprecedented crisis on the Constitution and Constitutional Institutions. Trying to shed the country in civil war for electoral victory,” Yadav tweeted.
Reacting on the ongoing power drama between the Mamata Banerjee led government and the CBI, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Yadav said: “The common man of the country is against the BJP and its alliance partner CBI. We are standing with Mamta ji. The biggest threat to democracy.”
Meanwhile, Lalu Yadav’s younger son and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav claimed that the CBI is working as a coalition partner with the BJP.
“In the past few months, due to the political decisions taken by the BJP office in the CBI, the state governments will have to make such a decision. If the CBI was still working as a coalition partner of the BJP, then the judicial ordinary people would not have accounted for them in some way. No one bigger is bigger than people in democracy,” Tejashwi Yadav tweeted.
National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said that he spoke to Banerjee to convey the support of the party to her as she is sitting on ‘Dharna’. He added that the use of the CBI as a political tool has crossed all limits.
“Just spoke to @MamataOfficial didi to convey the support of @JKNC_ as she sits in dharna. The use of the CBI as a political tool has crossed all limits as has the Modi government’s misuse of institutions. A former CM having such little regard for India’s federalism is shocking,” Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “Spoke to Mamta didi and expressed solidarity. Modi-Shah duo’s action is completely bizarre and anti-democracy.”
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu strongly condemned the incidents in Kolkata.
“We strongly condemn the incidents happening in Kolkata, a glaring example of how Modi-Shah duo are destroying the institutions. Attacking political opponents in different States, few days before the Parliament elections commence, will have disastrous consequences in the country,” Naidu said.
“This is shocking and we strongly condemn this. We stand by Chief Minister of West Bengal to preserve and protect constitution and spirit of federalism in the country. #SaveDemocracy,” he said.
“After opposition parties started uniting and started to fight together to save democracy, the Modi led BJP is losing all hope. The misuse of institutions by the union government to victimize political opponents in States is reaching dangerous proportions,” Naidu said in a series of tweet.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said: “In solidarity with @MamataOfficial. History stands testament to how JK has faced the wrath of central agencies. Its disheartening to see how institutions are being hijacked only to discredit political opponents. Doesn’t bode well for the Centre – State relationship.”
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagan president MK Stalin said: “The independence of every institution has been compromised under this fascist BJP Government. I stand with @MamataOfficial Didi in her fight to protect the federal structure of this country and to save democracy.”
In an unprecedented development, the West Bengal police prevented the CBI from arresting its top cop and detained five officials of the central investigative agency, leading to high drama here on Sunday.
The development marks a face-off between the Mamata Banerjee government and the Centre, adding a new dimension to the already bitter relations.
A team of CBI investigators who arrived at Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence in connection with Saradha Chit fund scam were not allowed to enter the residence. The team was taken to a police station and was later released.
“We had enough and relevant documents we are a professional institution we did not get any support from state police we are unnecessary detained,” a CBI official who was detained said.
Kolkata Para Military forces were also pressed into action at the CBI office in Kolkata.