Senior BJP leader and spokesperson Sambit Patra on Tuesday said that the Supreme Court's order on the Kolkata police chief was a "big slap" on the face of West Bengal government. Alleging that it was a political battle launched by the Chief Minister, Mr Patra said, "As far as Mamata Banerjee's drama of dharna is concerned, finally, she had to eat her own words that 'we were there to save the Constitution'...In fact, she has been exposed," the BJP spokesperson told news agency ANI.
"Ironically, the top court's verdict was a big slap on the face of the West Bengal government and the kind of rhetoric politics that Mamata Banerjee was playing. People of this country are extremely intelligent and they will give a befitting reply in the general elections because one thing is aptly clear that the elections are between the gang of the corrupts and Mr Modi," Mr Patra added.
Ms Banerjee on Tuesday ended her 'save the Constitution' dharna, which she had started on Sunday night after the CBI's attempt to arrest Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. Speaking to reporters, the Bengal Chief Minister claimed that the "dharna was to save our democracy, Constitution, IAS, IPS officers and agencies."
"We started the dharna only after consulting all political parties and after that, they extended their full support," Ms Banerjee said, adding that her government "got justice from one pillar of democracy, that is, the judiciary."
The Chief Minister also said that the Central government's claim that the Kolkata police chief had joined her in the protest was not true. "The truth is Rajeev Kumar never joined the protest. Is Rajeev Kumar their nightmare? Why are they so scared? As per protocol wherever PM, CM or any other minister or Governor goes, the police always has to be with them to give them security," she said.
The home ministry yesterday asked the Bengal government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Rajeev Kumar. In a letter addressed to the state chief secretary, the ministry cited "undisciplined behaviour and violation of All India Services (Conduct) Rules" by the officer. The Bengal government is not duty bound to follow the order but this move could further escalate the tension between the state and the Centre.
The Supreme Court has directed Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam probe. The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, said that no coercive step should be taken against him. The police chief has to appear before the CBI at a neutral venue in Shillong, the capital Meghalaya.
(With inputs from ANI & PTI)