West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday called off her indefinite Satyagraha — with a loud “oust Narendra Modi” call — against the alleged CBI harassment of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund case. She ended the agitation following requests from her Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu, who had joined the protest.
Mamata described as a “moral victory” the Supreme Court order directing the CBI to interrogate the Kolkata Police Commissioner at a neutral venue in Shillong and restraining the agency from arresting him.
Mamata said Kumar never refused to appear before the CBI. “He only wanted to appear at a neutral venue. The court has given that order. Again the court has also restrained the CBI from arresting him. This is our moral victory and we are extremely obliged to the court.”
Naidu congratulated Mamata for leading the battle against the Modi Government in a way “that no other leader could have done.” Mamata said, “This sit-in was not for my own sake. It was a collective decision for a collective cause started under ‘Save India to save the people, to save the country, to save the Constitution, to save democracy and to save the IAS, IPS brass’.”
She said that she was calling off the dharna after requests from colleagues and senior national leaders who stood firmly with her. Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said, “After 2019, Narendra Modi will not be in power to torment the people.” She added the anti-BJP parties would hold a three-day dharna in Delhi from February 12.
Condemning the Centre for directing the State Government to initiate a departmental enquiry against Kumar for allegedly going against police rule books by joining Mamata at the dharna dais, the Chief Minister asked, “What pleasure they get in victimising an IPS officer? They have sent a letter to start departmental proceeding against Rajeev Kumar for coming to this place. So many people are sitting here. Has anyone seen him sitting on the dharna stage? He is the chief security officer and is duty bound to consult the CM. That is within his duty.
“If Rajeev Kumar’s coming here for consultation with the Chief Minister amounts to breaking police rule then what about those police officers who meet Amit Shah everyday at airports and even BJP offices? Why they are so scared of a police officer.”
The State Government would respond “aptly” to the Centre’s letter, the CM said.
The BJP was “doubting my conduct when I arrested Sudipta Sen and gave away Rs 300 crore as compensation to the chit fund depositors but they have not done nothing to the CPI(M) during whose tenure the chit fund business started way back in 1980s.
The investigation should have started from them instead of 2009,” Banerjee said adding “what they are doing is very sad, very bad and very mad.”
Taking a firm stand on the issue the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Naidu said “Madam (Banerjee) is the Chief Minister of Bengal. Like the Prime Minister is a sovereign in Delhi a Chief Minister has sovereign powers in her State and no one can dictate terms to her. We won’t tolerate if the Prime Minister continues to suppress the State’s rights.”
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 | Saugar Sengupta | Kolkata
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