Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called off her sit-in this evening after the Supreme Court forbade the CBI from taking coercive action against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar. She, however, vowed to wage a relentless battle against the Modi government till it was ousted from power.
Banerjee, who dramatically began the dharna on Sunday evening over the CBI’s bid to question Kumar, said she was ending the protest following a “favourable” SC order after consulting leaders of like-minded parties.
She had begun the protest claiming the spirit of “Constitution and federalism” was being stifled by the Modi government after a CBI team went to quiz the Kolkata Commissioner of Police on Sunday evening in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam, setting the stage for a fresh confrontation with the Centre.
CBI officials were dragged by Kolkata police, bundled into vehicles and detained, in a development Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh dubbed as “constitutional breakdown”.
Banerjee, one of the prime movers behind the effort to cobble together an anti-BJP alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha poll, drew support from over 20 Opposition parties as she claimed the Centre was plotting a “coup” to topple her government. Asserting that Opposition parties will take the fight against the Modi government to a “logical conclusion”, Naidu said their leaders would meet in Delhi on February 13-14 to chalk out an agitation programme.
The Banerjee-Centre face-off resonated in Parliament for the second day running, with proceedings getting disrupted amid protests by Opposition parties.
Banerjee said the court direction that no coercive steps, including arrest of Kumar, would take place during the course of investigation, was “our moral victory”. The Centre, however, insisted the court order was a “blow” to the TMC government and a moral victory for the investigating agency.