New Delhi, Feb 4 (IECurrentAffairs) Stating that the unprecedented situation wherein local police confronted and disallowed CBI to discharge their duties, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday appealed to state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to let central agencies function effectively.
“I appeal to Mamata Banerjee government in the state to let the law enforcement agencies do their duties,” Mr Singh made an impatient plea in the Lok Sabha and expressed deep concern at the situation in the Trinammol Congress-ruled state that arose out of Kolkata police’s unprecedented confrontation with the CBI on Sunday.
A team of CBI officers was stopped from entering the residence of Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar’s residence and the probe agency officials were also ‘forcefully’ taken to the Shakespeare Sarani police station.
The Chief Minister also had backed the controversial police officer calling him as one of the ‘best cops’ in the world.
Making a brief intervention during Zero Hour after the issue was raised by Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy and supported by floor leaders of various parties including Biju Janata Dal and Congress, the Home Minister said the situation was almost leading towards ‘anarchy and chaos’ as Chief Minister herself has staged a protest.
“We respect state’s right under the federal structure but the situation there could almost lead to the collapse of constitutional mechanism in the state,” he said.
The emerging situation there could have ‘dangerous’ and serious ramifications, he said even as vocal Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi MPs raised the slogan ‘CBI Tota hae’.
“Whatever happened is unprecedented; I have sought a report from the Governor. Such a clash between the country’s enforcement agencies is dangerous to the federal structure of India; I appeal to all states to let them do their job.”
Mr Singh further said it would be erroneous to suggest that the CBI officials had acted against the Kolkata police commissioner all of a sudden.
“The probe into the chit fund scams in the state was taken up by the CBI only after the Supreme Court had ordered an investigation into it,” he said adding the police commissioner was summoned many times but he did not appear.
“In fact, the CBI was compelled to take this action as the police commissioner (of Kolkata) was not cooperating,” he said.
The Home Minister lamented that the way a CBI team was allegedly roughed up and stopped from performing their duties by Kolkata police points to anarchy constitutional breakdown.
Raising the issue, senior Trinamool MP Saugata Roy accused the BJP-led government of sparking off a constitutional crisis.
“CBI is being used against the state government illegally, politically, to capture Bengal. This is not the way they will succeed. In elections, they will get a big zero,” he said.
‘We are not a banana republic,’ said BJD leader B Mahtab and maintained the actions in Kolkata on Sunday ‘smack of impropriety’.
He accused that the CBI has also been misused in his state Odisha and in last three months there have been alleged efforts to ‘defame’ BJD leaders.
He said an impression has been created in last few years that the CBI can be used as a political stooge. This should be stopped, he emphasised and said the manner in which the central probe agency has been functioning, shows that the agency is not displaying any institutional integrity.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the CBI has been constantly abused by the Central government for pushing the political agenda of the BJP.
He said the BJP regime has displayed a pattern of using CBI as a weapon in states where they do not have much existence. The BJP wants to bring an ‘autocratic government’, he said, adding that the CBI has been misused in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
However, he said, the Opposition parties will not be cowed down.
CPI-M Member Md Badaruddoza, from the opposition ranks, struck a different note and said the protest by the Chief Minister in Kolkata was unwarranted.
“If the City Police Commissioner was so honest, why did he not cooperate with the central probe agency,” he said.
There was unprecedented confrontation between TMC and Saumitra Khan, the Bishnupur MP who recently ‘joined’ the BJP.
Among others, Aparupa Poddar, Kalyan Banerjee and Idris Ali came near Saumitra Khan’s seat and tried to stop him from speaking.
“Even electricity to my in laws’ house was disconnected,” Khan said, adding that helicopter of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was not allowed to land for election campaign at Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur district.
The pandemonium in the House in the post lunch session led to adjournment of the House.
The Lok Sabha was on Monday slated to take up the customary Motion of Thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the Joint Session of Parliament on January 31.