Opposition Parties Back Mamata

The Lok Sabha witnessed three noisy adjournments after almost all opposition parties joined hands to denounce the CBI move to question the Kolkata police commissioner in connection with the chit fund scams, and extended support to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s dharna.

Home minister Rajnath Singh, however, pointed out that the CBI was mandated by the SC to probe the scam, and termed the CM’s action unfortunate. He said the developments indicated a “constitutional breakdown”.

When the lower House reassembled after the first adjournment, the speaker disallowed the notices for adjournment motion but allowed members to raise the issue in the zero hour. TMC MP Saugata Roy said CBI officers had gone to the police chief without specific order and alleged that PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were using the CBI to “create a constitutional crisis” in West Bengal. He alleged this kind of actions by premier investigating agencies were part of the Centre’s attempt to politically target state governments led by non-NDA parties. Dismissing the charges, the Singh said Banerjee’s decision to go on a dharna was “unprecedented”.

“The CBI was probing a multi-crore chit fund scam and wanted to interrogate the Kolkata police chief,” Singh said. “Whatever happened on Sunday, it indicates constitutional breakdown,” Singh said.

Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge alleged CBI and other probe agencies were being used by the Centre to target opponents. BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab termed the CBI officials’ action of “barging into” the police chief’s house “brazen and improper”.

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