- "Is Mamata Banerjee trying to protect herself?": Prakash Javadekar
- CBI says Kolkata top cop ignored multiple summons over the past 2 years
- Smriti Irani asked why a chief minister was protesting for a police chief
What is Mamata Banerjee scared of, the ruling BJP questioned today as it clashed with the Bengal Chief Minister, who has launched a sit-in protest over an investigation into two chit fund scams allegedly involving members of her Trinamool Congress party. The confrontation between the BJP and Bengal's ruling party flared up on Sunday after a CBI team that wanted to question Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar was taken to a police station and detained for hours before they were released.
"Is Mamata Banerjee trying to protect herself? Why is she running way from the inquiry," asked Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
A furious Mamata Banerjee had last evening accused the centre of sending CBI officers after "one of the best officers in the world, someone who's integrity, bravery and honesty are unquestioned".
Rajeev Kumar had headed a special probe into the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams in which thousands of small investors were cheated of their money.
The CBI says that he had ignored multiple summons over the past two years and that the agency wanted to ask him about missing evidence.
"Is it to hide evidence, the chit fund scamster in his testimony said there is one red diary. There is a diary and a pendrive," Prakash Javadekar said. Those are missing, says the government, as a witness talked about turning them over but the police never included them on the evidence list.
The senior BJP leader also pointed out that it was not his party but Rahul Gandhi's Congress that had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for an investigation into the chit fund scams. The constitutional mechanism, he said, had clearly failed. To Ms Banerjee calling the situation in Kolkata an "emergency", Mr Javadekar hit back: "This is not Narendra Modi''s emergency but Mamata Banerjee's emergency in Bengal. She is on a dharna to save herself from the CBI."
Smriti Irani questioned why a chief minister was protesting for a police chief. "The fact that paramilitary forces had to be deployed for the protection of (CBI) officers, who were diligently doing their duty, is for the first time an unprecedented view given to the citizen with regards to the state of anarchy in the West Bengal," said the union minister.
The BJP also took potshots at Rahul Gandhi for his tweet expressing support for Mamata Banerjee last evening. "Diagnosed: Multiple Personality Disorder is characterized by at least two distinct and enduring personality states - there is trouble remembering certain events, beyond ordinary forgetfulness. These states alternately show in person's behavior. Get well soon, Rahul ji," the BJP tweeted.