Mamata vs CBI LATEST updates: Trinamool Congress Party leader Derek O'Brien said on Monday that the most corrupt people in this country are Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. "Corruption will never stick to the white saree that Mamata Banerjee wears," he said.
"The power of the Opposition rally drove the BJP to take this measure. The officer (Rajeev Kumar) is honest and upright and has integrity. There is not a single Trinamool logo in sight. This is a chief minister giving a strong message to the people of the state that we are Bengal and we will stand proud," O'Brien added.
Calling Mamata Banerjee and her supporters an "alliance of corrupt people", Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a press conference that it was not a "crime" to lead an investigation into corruption. "They have emerged as a coalition of the corrupt to save each other," he said, adding, "I have never seen a policeman sit in a dharna."
Odisha's ruling party, the BJD, meanwhile sought to clear its stand. "Based on media reports on the CBI issue, BJD would like to clarify that the statement by BJD on CBI is in relation to Odisha and the overall issues confronting the CBI at a national level. Grouping BJD with some political parties because of this statement is incorrect and misleading," ANI quoted the party has having said.
Speaking from the protest venue in Kolkata, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, "The Modi government woke up when we organised a mass rally on 19 January. An effort began from that day to finish the Opposition. But we will continue this protest. We will sing celebrating our fighting spirit."
West Bengal governor Keshav Nath Tripathi submitted a report to the Minstry of Home Affairs on the situation in the state. Union home minister Rajnath Singh earlier in the day spoke to Tripathi to take stock of the situation in the wake of a CBI team being allegedly obstructed by the state police to grill the Kolkata Police commissioner in the Saradha ponzi scam case.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar refused to comment on the issue on Monday. "Until the Election Commission announces the date of elections, anything can happen in the country," he said. Meanwhile, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is holding a cabinet meeting in a place adjacent to the dharna venue.
The Kolkata Police moved Calcutta High Court against the CBI action on Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The plea sought urgent hearing on Monday. However, the court said that the matter wasn't urgent and will be heard on Tuesday.
Asserting that allegations by Mamata Banerjee are right, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said that the country is in danger as its becoming dictatorial. "Her (Mamata Banerjee) allegation is right. They (central government) are not masters of this country, people are."
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar says, "Opposition parties have supported Mamata Banerjee. Who are these people? They are out on bail. Such people are standing together. This is not Mahagathbandhan, they are divided by vision and united by corruption. The corrupt are standing together. Whatever is happening in Kolkata is one of a kind. Never before was an investigating team taken into custody by police. It's murder of democracy. We want to ask Mamata Banerjee why is she staging dharna, who does she want to shield? Police Commissioner or herself?"
As TMC MPs created ruckus in Lok Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "The CBI was compelled to take this action as the Kolkata police commissioner was not cooperating in the investigation."
The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report on the role of IPS officers on allegations of obstructing investigation and violation of Service Conduct Rules in Sunday's incident in Kolkata. Narendra Modi will meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, and Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday over West Bengal issue.
Meanwhile, West Bengal governor Keshav Nath Tripathi earlier on Monday apprised the Ministry of Home Affairs of the situation in the state. Tripathi has also summoned the chief secretary.
When Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the CBI's plea against Rajeev Kumar, CJI Ranjan Gogoi asked what the urgency was and then posted the matter for hearing on Tuesday at 10.30 am. Gogoi said, "If Kolkata Police commissioner even remotely thinks of destroying evidence, bring the material before this court. We will come down so heavily on him that he will regret."
The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm after TMC MPs disrupted proceedings on Monday and rushed to the Well. The MPs were demanding discussion on the situation in West Bengal. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court rejected urgent hearing for a plea by CBI against Rajeev Kumar in chit funds cases. The matter will be heard tomorrow.
According to reports, CRPF personnel have been deployed outside the CBI office in Kolkata. Meanwhile, AAP MP Sanjay Singh has given notice in Rajya Sabha under rule 267 for suspension of business, demanding discussion on 'misuse of CBI'.
As Mamata Banerjee's dharna continues in Kolkata, about 15 parties are expected to raise the issue in Lok Sabha on Monday. Meanwhile, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu said that the Opposition parties will meet in Delhi on Monday and draft an action plan on a nationwide movement.
The CBI will seek contempt proceedings against West Bengal chief secretary, DGP and Kolkata commissioner Rajeev Kumar. It will also seek a directive for Kumar to join probe. Advocate and Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi will represent the West Bengal government in Supreme Court.
As Mamata Banerjee's dharna continues in Kolkata, about 15 parties are expected to raise the issue in Lok Sabha on Monday. The West Bengal chief minister will also hold a cabinet meeting at the sit-in site.
A BJP delegation is likely to meet the Election Commission at 12.30 pm to protest West Bengal's government "move" to to bar party choppers. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will lead the delegation.
After Mamata Banerjee began her sit-in on Sunday, she claimed that she was being targetted because she had organised the United India rally in January. As she hit out at the Narendra Modi government, she told her supporters: "Organise rallies tomorrow (Monday) between 2-4 pm in every block of the state. Wear black badges and carry black flags to register your protest. We are not afraid. If he wants to impose President’s Rule, we will see. We have to ensure Modi is ousted from power in 2019."
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav, TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu, BSP leader Mayawati, NCP's Sharad Pawar, and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal were among the several Opposition leaders who spoke to Mamata Banerjee on Sunday over phone to express solidarity.
In an unprecedented development on Sunday evening, Mamata sat on a dharna, protesting CBI's attempt to quiz Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scams. The chief minister stayed the night on a makeshift dais along with some senior ministers and party members. Mamata said she will continue her Satyagraha till the country and its Constitution are "saved".
Opposition parties late Sunday night expressed solidarity with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who began a sit-in protest over the CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police chief in connection with chit fund scams, as the Congress termed it "mala fide" and an "assault" on the federal polity.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi called up Banerjee and extended support to her, saying the entire opposition is together and it will defeat the fascist forces.
He alleged the events in West Bengal were part of an unrelenting attack on India's institutions by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.
He said the Congress stood shoulder to shoulder with Banerjee who is on an overnight dharna.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister M Chandrababu Naidu said it was a glaring example of how "Modi-Shah duo are destroying the institutions".
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at her sit-in protest in Kolkata on Sunday night. PTI
"Attacking political opponents in different States, few days before the Parliament elections commence, will have disastrous consequences in the country," he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also came out in support of the TMC chief. "Spoke to Mamta didi and expressed solidarity. Modi-Shah duo's action is completely bizarre and anti-democracy," he tweeted.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav termed the CBI's action undemocratic and against the spirit of the Constitution.
"The BJP wants to stay in power by hook or by crook. They are so scared of losing that CBI is being used as election agents. This is undemocratic and against spirit of the constitution. We demand due process be followed so that CBI is not used as a tool of political interference," he said on Twitter.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the CBI action in Kolkata is clearly "mala fide" and an "assault" on the federal polity, which has come within 48 hours of Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah's public "threat" to him.
He alleged that the BJP and the prime minister are desperate to create a controversy in the state for "cheap publicity and divisiveness" to get some space in 2019 elections.
He claimed the Modi government has ensured a non-functional and non-productive Parliament session going by such assaults on the federal polity on a Sunday evening.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel said, "Investigative agencies are constitutional bodies and need to operate within the parameters of law.
"They cannot act at the behest of any political party or any extra constitutional authority."
Rashtriya Janata Dal national president Lalu Prasad said the Constitution and constitutional institutions in the country were facing an "unprecedented crisis" and alleged that there were "attempts to plunge the country into a civil war".
"The common public of the country is against the BJP and its coalition partner - a partisan CBI. We stand with @MamataBanerjeeOfficial. There is a brazen display of dictatorship.
"It is the greatest danger to democracy. The Constitution and constitutional institutions are facing an unprecedented crisis. Attempts are being made to plunge the country into a civil war for electoral gains," Prasad tweeted in Hindi.
Prasad's official twitter handle is operated by people close to him as he is serving sentences in connection with fodder scam cases and admitted at a hospital in Ranchi for treatment of multiple ailments.
Incidentally, the fodder scam conviction which led to the imprisonment of Prasad and rendered him disqualified from contesting polls, was also investigated by the CBI.
According to party sources, the RJD supremo's younger son and political heir Tejashwi Yadav has spoken to Banerjee over phone and he might visit Kolkata on Monday in a show of solidarity.
"State governments will be compelled to take such steps in view of political decisions taken by the CBI in the last few months under pressure from the BJP. The CBI may have to face the wrath of the public if it continues to act as a coalition partner of the BJP. Nobody is mightier than the public in a democracy," Tejashwi Yadav tweeted.
NCP president Sharad Pawar wrote on the micro-blogging site," #Assualtondemocracy - blatant misuse of CBI in #WestBengal to intimidate the opposition and settle political scores."
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also threw his weight behind Banerjee, saying the use of the agency 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 tweeted.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also expressed solidarity with Banerjee, saying history stands testament to how JK has faced the wrath of central agencies.
She said, "Its disheartening to see how institutions are being hijacked only to discredit political opponents. Doesn't bode well for the Centre-State relationship."
In a dramatic showdown with the Modi government, a furious Banerjee, wrapped in a brown woollen shawl, began a sit-in right in front of the Metro Cinema to protest "insults" she faced at the hands of the prime minister and Shah, hours after a CBI team that had gone to question Kumar was detained in a rare face-off between the police establishments of the Centre and the state.
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Updated Date: Feb 04, 2019 16:33:14 IST