File photo: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
On a day a minister in her cabinet crossed over to the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the party, saying it should not "bulldoze" regional parties and "destabilise" the country's federal structure.
In a Facebook post, without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party, Ms Banerjee alleged that her party Trinamool Congress was being maligned by "one particular national party" alongside "one media house of Bengal".
"One particular national political party along with one media house of Bengal is constantly engaged in maligning the state political personalities of the ruling party," Ms Banerjee said in an apparent response to the criticism of her party in connection with the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam.
A minister, two MPs and another leader of the Trinamool are already in jail, while its all-India general secretary Mukul Roy has been summoned by the CBI for grilling.
Many other Trinamool leaders have been quizzed by central agencies probing the scam.
Banerjee said it was "very unfortunate" that the "vilification campaign" was being repeatedly spread by quoting different Central agencies and "without documents/proof".
"It is a sad time for democracy. The ruling party in the Centre should not bulldoze the regional parties and destabilise the federal structure," said Ms Banerjee, whose comments coincided with state refugee, relief and rehabilitation minister Manjul Krishna Thakur quitting the ministry and joining the BJP.