Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's sit-in protest against the CBI's bid to question Kolkata police chief in chit fund cases has seen a galaxy of supporters from the opposition. However, the Trinamool Congress chief received unlikely support from BJP ally Shiv Sena who attacked the Modi government over the face-off.
Alleging that it was "orchestrated" for political gains in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Shiv Sena in its editorial party mouthpiece "Saamana" said what was happening in Kolkata was a "threat to democracy".
Claiming that the BJP will fall short of 100 seats in north and west India, the Sena claimed BJP orchestrated this to "lay hopes on states like Bengal to win 10 to 15 seats."
Early last year, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had declared that his party will fight all future elections on its own. However, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was "certain" of a pre-poll alliance with the Shiv Sena.
"We do have our differences with Mamata Banerjee and her party, but she is, indeed, hitting back at the Centre with equal force," the Sena remarked.
The Sena said the centre could have acted against the Kolkata Police chief two months back and the CBI should have carried proper summons before visiting his house to question him.
It also said Narendra Modi should look in to the crisis in Bengal as a prime minister of the country and not as a leader of the BJP.
The Shiv Sena is a constituent of the BJP-led ruling coalitions in Maharashtra and also at the Centre, but it routinely criticises its alliance partner's leaders and government policies.
Mamata Banerjee's sit-in protest entered its third day today amid the Supreme Court listing the matter for next hearing on February 20. The court also directed that Rajeev Kumar, the police chief cannot be arrested and will be questioned in the Rose Valley and Saradha cases in Shillong.
(with inputs from PTI)