Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called off the sit-in protest against the centre amid a full blown political stand-off that saw a host of opposition leaders extending support to the Trinamool Congress chief. The Central Bureau of Investigation, whose move to barge into the house of the Kolkata police chief and question him triggered the mega row, went to the Supreme Court, which heard the evidence against Rajeev Kumar today. The CBI has accused Rajeev Kumar of being a "potential accused" in the Saradha and Rose Valley Ponzi schemes -- cases he investigated -- and said it was possible that he might have tried to destroy evidence. Rajeev Kumar cannot be arrested, the top court has given the verdict and his questioning will be done in Shillong.
Here are the highlights of Day 3 of Mamata Banerjee's dharna:
Mr Hussain said he will still go to Murshidabad and is already on the way.
Last week, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was denied permission to hold a rally in the state, which is witnessing a political slugfest between the ruling TMC and the BJP.
Yogi Adityanath is also headed to Bengal to hold a rally in Purulia. Mamata Banerjee has said "arrangements can be made last minute" if requests are made 3 years prior.
No one from TMC has been in contact with us for at least a year. Our party statement yesterday had to do with events in our state. We would like CBI to do a professional and non political job.
While Amit Shah was recovering from swine flu, he came to Bengal. That was not right. We wanted him to get better. And then they say we denied him permission. I have not forgotten. I was denied guest house in Maharashtra, Bihar. You put your own house in order first, then take action against us.
"I feel that in West Bengal democracy is in peril. Someone occupying a constitutional post is violating the federal structure of the country. This certainly does not augur well for the democracy of the country," Mr Maurya told PTI in an interview.
The top court Tuesday directed Mr Kumar to make himself available before the CBI and "faithfully" cooperate with the agency in investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam probe.
"The SC verdict is a victory of democracy. Mamata Banerjee should immediately tender resignation," Mr Vijayvargiya told PTI.
1. Hon'ble Supreme Court directs the CBI and Kolkata Police Commissioner to meet at a neutral venue. The neutral venue directed by CJI is Shillong.
2. No coercive steps to be taken by CBI against Kolkata Police Commissioner. He cannot be arrested.
3. Centre has made allegations of armed rebellion and breakdown of constitutional machinery. Court has not paid heed to this.
4. With regard to contempt petition the 3 parties CS DGP and police chief should submit their replies by 18th. Matter to be listed on 20th. Personal appearance if required will be communicated by secretary general of the top court after the court peruses the reply.
- Only the people and nobody is the big boss of this country. Only democracy is the big boss of this country.
- Just calling them and arresting them. People cannot go to court. CBI has its own court. How will people get justice. I am fighting for millions of people not just Rajeev Kumar.
- On asked if she will continue her dharna, "I will not decide in a hurry. Let me consult my people. So many opposition leaders are coming. Today Naidu is coming. We are not fighting alone. Let me consult and tell."
- On top court verdict, "It's not my victory alone. It's victory of constitution. It's the victory of Save India."
- Our movement is the movement of people. I have digested the injustice for too long. My heart was crying at the injustice.
- In the top court, Centre's allegations have been rejected. Mutual place has to be agreed on. Rajeev Kumar's arrest has been denied.
- Today is victory of democracy, victory of Save India, victory of people.
- On allegation about Yogi Adityanath chopper not being allowed to land, "It's absolutely wrong."
- Modi hatao, Desh bachao--- We will fight the battle with all the political parties. All the people are invited to be the prime minister.
- PM Modi has destroyed democracy.
- Tell Yogi Adityanath to take care of UP first. So many people have been killed, even cops are not safe.
- Will discuss with everyone about the dharna then see if will continue or not.
- I am ready to lay down my life for my country but I won't tolerate the injustice.
- So many people are involved in the chit fund case. Babul Supriyo said he was the rose in Rose Valley. What happened to that?
- I have written a bestseller, I am an artist, that is why I paint. This has nothing to do with me selling my paintings to chit fund companies.
- My dharna was not to cause inconvenience. Has Jayalalithaa not protested? There are so many leaders who have protested.
- I have struggled all through my life. I have campaigned for human rights. Campaigned for lock up day when Narasimha Rao was PM over rights violation, the protest went on for over 20 days. Mr Rao heeded our concerns. I protested when farmers' lands were being taken away forcefully. I was on protest for 26 days.
- Mamata Banerjee says CBI-Kolkata police commissioner tussle was nothing but political vendetta.
Attorney General KK Venugopal pleads before the Supreme Court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the alleged contemnors.
Affidavit also states,return of crucial evidence to main accused by the SIT, despite regular monitoring by High Court, clearly show connivance of SIT to a larger conspiracy wherein local authorities obstructed probe and attempted to destroy evidence prior to transfer of the case to CBI by top court.
Final Addl. Affidavit Review by on Scribd
CBI claims it is investigating "inaction, selective action, police and chit fund nexus"
SIT used to shield the selective companies such as Saradha, Rose Valley and Tower Group which have given huge contributions (even by way of cheques) to the party in power in the State of West Bengal.
CBI claims SIT shielded companies which gave campaign contributions to TMC.
Mamata Banerjee's disproportionate over-reaction to the CBI wanting to interrogate the Kolkata Police Chief has flagged several issues for a public discourse. The most important being that a Kleptocrat's Club now aspires to capture the reigns of India.
The Chit Fund Fraud and its Investigation
The West Bengal Chit Fund Fraud was unearthed in 2012-13. Its investigations were handed over to the CBI by the Supreme Court. The Court monitored these investigations. The CBI has interrogated and even arrested some people. Many have been granted bail. If a Police Officer is also required to be interrogated, how does it become a "super emergency", "assault on Federalism", or "destruction of Institutions"? What is the strategy behind Chief Minister's disgraceful and disproportionate reaction? What is her strategy in inviting all other leaders belonging to every opposition to join her on the Dharna? It would be a gross error to assume that she did this because of a routine investigation involving a Police Officer. She did it to defocus from other opposition aspirants for the highest office and to project herself as the nucleus of India's opposition. Her speeches attack Prime Minister Modi but her strategy is aimed to defocus some of her other colleagues in the Opposition and hogging the centre stage.
Can a State assault Federalism?
Federalism is not a slogan. It is a delicate balance of the Centre-State relationship. Our Constitutional framework clearly defines the sharing of functions between the Centre and the State. It does not permit an overlap. There are Central agencies and organizations which conduct legitimate investigation in States. Today the CBI is being brutally prevented by physical force and detention of its officer from investigating a crime legally within its jurisdiction, in the State of West Bengal. It is a textbook illustration of a State Government assaulting Federalism. Can a State Government prevent the Income-tax Department from collecting taxes in a State? Can another State Government prevent the NIA from proceeding to arrest a Terrorist located in the State? Can the Enforcement Directorate be prevented from investigating or arresting a smuggler or money-launderer physically located in a State? Obviously the answer is No. If any of these is visible, it would be a case of a State assaulting Federalism. The prevention of a Central investigating agency discharging a function given to it by the Supreme Court is a direct assault on Federalism.
The new Kleptocrat's Club
Technology has been a great enabler in detection of improper monetary transactions. Traceability of transactions has become simpler and the footprints of illegality can be traced. This has empowered all investigative agencies both at the Centre and at the State Governments to unearth financial crimes including corruption.
When Mamata Banerjee decided to sit on a Dharna she received support of many opposition parties. There is an important commonality between them. They are all in Opposition and aspire to be in power. Most of them, or their affiliates are today being investigated, prosecuted and in some cases have also been convicted for crimes of corruption. Her ally from Bihar represents the party of the convicted. The friend from Andhra Pradesh runs a party of contractors, thekhedaars and money-launderers. Her two friends from Uttar Pradesh represent the scandalous legacy of corruption. Her Anarchic brother from the Delhi Government is at his wits end because the penny stock companies of his Ministerial colleagues have been found out. Curiously, the AICC President somersaulted his position from Saradha being a scam to "shoulder-to-shoulder" support to the scamster. This somersaulter belongs to the first family of the Congress Party where most members of the family are on bail. It has been argued in the past that the Opposition is going in for a non-ideological short-lived coalition. India cannot afford instability. It has also been argued that the choice in the next Election will be either Modi Vs. Chaos or Modi Vs. Anarchy. Mamata Banerjee's latest acrobatics are the best evidence of the kind of governance India's opposition can provide. But more importantly those who have lent support to the West Bengal Dharna are those who are battling serious allegations of economic improprieties, criminal misconduct and even corruption. Can "New India" be ever run by this Kleptocrat's Club?
"I would say that this episode was Modi-ji's pre-election gift to Mamata Banerjee... the whole country is now looking at her... the BJP has realised after January 19 rally that they won't return to power," said Ms Kanimozhi.
"Using institutional power to drive us apart... they are mistaken if they think that is what will happen. We have learnt to celebrate our differences. India will not accept this," she added.
DMK chief Stalin, who is Kanimozhi's brother, has tweeted support for Ms Banerjee, who has taken the initiative to forge a united opposition to take on the BJP in the coming national elections.
In the backdrop of the hiccups faced by the opposition in forging a united front against the BJP, Tejashwi Yadav said if all political parties don't unite, the people of this country "will not forgive" them.
"It is a political conspiracy to use the CBI against political opponents. Narendra Modi is elder to us, and he should understand that the PM comes and goes, but the institutions of this great country remain," Tejashwi Yadav said.
Lalu Yadav has also tweeted his support for Mamata Banerjee.
The West Bengal's government had on Sunday denied chopper landing to Yogi Adityanath in the state.
Mamata Banerjee's disproportionate over-reaction to the CBI wanting to interrogate the Kolkata Police Chief has flagged several issues for a public discourse. The most important being that a Kleptocrat's Club now aspires to capture the reigns of India.- Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 5, 2019
"We're all together to save this country&protect democracy. There is an attack on democratic institutions. A month before elections,they went to Commissioner of Police and harassed him. It's totally undemocratic."
The Kolkata Police Commissioner is among the best in the world. His integrity, bravery and honesty are unquestioned. He is working 24x7, and was on leave for only one day recently. When you spread lies, the lies- Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 3, 2019
will always remain lies 2/2