West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee created a stir on Monday saying that she does not believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi is asking federal agencies such as the CBI or the ED to use powers beyond their remit against the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in West Bengal are using the agencies to serve their goals and Modi might not be aware of it, she said. “You are possibly not aware that these agencies are no longer under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). They are now controlled by Union home ministry,” Banerjee told the state assembly during a discussion on a resolution TMC placed, accusing federal agencies of indulging in excess.
The ED comes under the finance ministry and the CBI, under the Department of Personnel and Training, which comes under the PMO.
Though it appeared that Banerjee was targeting Union home minister Amit Shah, she did not take his name. Instead, she said: “The central government and a section of BJP leaders are behind this. BJP leaders here want the agencies to serve their political agenda. We will not let such excesses muzzle the voice of democracy.”
The eight points in the resolution accuse federal agencies of violating democratic norms and “torturing” TMC leaders and supporters, while taking no action against BJP leaders who are accused in several cases.
Reacting to Banerjee’s comment, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Tacit understanding between the TMC and the BJP is out in the open. TMC has been the weakest link in the opposition camp.”
Leader of Opposition Suvendhu Adhikari said the resolution goes against parliamentary rules. “They now want to malign an independent agency.”
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