CBI vs Mamata Banerjee: West Bengal CM thanks SC for 'upholding' stand, claims central agency's actions political vendetta

The Supreme Court's direction that no coercive steps, including the arrest of Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar, will take place during the course of the investigation is "our moral victory", West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said Tuesday.

The West Bengal chief minister hailed the court's verdict as vindication of her stand, stating that she had never said that Kumar should not cooperate with the central agency. The Supreme Court Tuesday directed Kumar to make himself available before the CBI and "faithfully" cooperate with the agency in the investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam probe. It asked CBI to meet him at a neutral place (Shillong in Meghalaya) after West Bengal government objected to CBI summoning him to Delhi.

CBI vs Mamata Banerjee: West Bengal CM thanks SC for upholding stand, claims central agencys actions political vendetta

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Banerjee is on a sit-in protest against the CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police chief in connection with chit fund scams. Her protest entered the third day on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court's order is a victory of the common man, democracy and the Constitution, Banerjee told reporters at the dharna venue in central Kolkata.

As the BJP raised questions over Mamata's massive efforts to shore up attack on behalf of the Kolkata Police commissioner, the West Bengal chief minister claimed her struggle was not for Kumar alone.

"I am not pleading for Rajeev Kumar, I am pleading for millions of people of this country." She said it was the Narendra Modi government's strategy to stifle all opposition by threatening people with arrest. "CBI-Kolkata police commissioner tussle was nothing but political vendetta."

She claimed that she was a fighter and she would not rest until she dethrones Modi.

"There must be some story behind this. Nobody can dare to speak against (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) Modi. Only I dare to speak against them because I don't care whether they kill me, or arrest me," the chief minister said.

Expressing her gratitude to all the leaders of Opposition parties who expressed solidarity with her cause, Banerjee said, "Our's is a mass agitation and we are going to fight it unitedly."

She said that the coming together of Opposition parties has already sounded the death knell for the BJP rule. "2019 will be the end of Narendra Modi's rule. Like sterilisation brought down Indira Gandhi, Bofors brought down Rajiv Gandhi,  Narendra Modi will be ousted from power because of his constant disregard for Constitution and federal structure," she said.

Banerjee sat on a "Save India" dharna in front of Metro Cinema in the heart of Kolkata on Sunday night insisting that the latest CBI action was tantamount to stifling the spirit of "Constitution and federalism" in the country.

"We always respect the law and feel that things should run as per the law. But, if someone tries to destroy the pillars on which democracy stands, then there would be nothing left of the democratic process that we are so proud of.

"We really welcome the [Supreme Court] verdict. It is absolutely correct. Our case is very strong. We never said we will not cooperate. This is a political vendetta," Banerjee said.

Several opposition leaders, including Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, DMK's Kanimozhi, RJD's Tejaswhi Yadav, have supported Banerjee's protest.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Feb 05, 2019 14:47:13 IST

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