West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that her dharna against the CBI's attempt to grill the Kolkata Police chief in the chit fund scam cases will continue till Friday in view of the upcoming boards examinations. Banerjee is sitting on a dharna at the Metro Channel in Esplanade area in the heart of the city, the same spot she had sat on a 26-day fast in 2006 against the acquisition of farmland at Singur for the Tata Motors factory.
What led to the showdown:
A CBI team came to the Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar's Loudon Street residence to question him in connection with ponzi scam cases --- Rose Valley and Saradha. The team was detained by the state police but was later released.
Mamata Banerjee alleged that the PM Narendra Mod and BJP chief Amit Shah are playing “vindictive politics” and this is the outcome of the “very successful” opposition rally organised by her on January 19. The TMC chief has garnered support from Congress President Rahul Gandhi and several other opposition leaders such as Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, N Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal extended their full support to Mamata on Sunday.
Here are the highlights:
8.46 pm: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and DMK leader Kanimozhi arrive dharna site to meet West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
7.38 pm: RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav lands in Kolkata to meet Mamata Banerjee at ‘dharna’ site.
7.05 pm: Three-judge SC bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta & Justice Sanjiv Khanna will hear CBI’s pleas tomorrow against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar & West Bengal govt for alleged non-cooperation in a case connected with Saradha chit fund scam
6.15 pm: CBI has filed a contempt plea in the Supreme Court against West Bengal's Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and Kolkata Police Commissioner for wilful and deliberate violation of apex court's orders.
6.12 pm: CBI moves a contempt petition against West Bengal Chief Secretary Malay De, DGP Virendra Kumar and Commissioner of Police Rajeev Kumar in the Supreme Court.
6.00 pm: BJP is destroying every constitutional institute, says Tejashwi Yadav.
5.37 pm: I am ready to give my life but not compromise. I did not take to the streets when you touched TMC leaders. But I am angry when they tried to insult the chair of the Kolkata Police Commissioner, he is leading the organisation, says Mamata Banerjee.
5.00 pm: We are proud of our forces, says West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
4.55 pm: Mamata Banerjee attends West Bengal Police and Kolkata Police event. Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar also present.
.@mamataofficial’s goons have vandalised the BJP party office in Bhawanipore, South Kolkata. Mamata represents the Bhawanipore constituency.— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) February 4, 2019
Law and order has completely collapsed! No one is safe under TMC. #MamataFreeBengal pic.twitter.com/v28er7Sb80
4.27 pm: BJP office in Mamata Banerjee’ constituency Bhawanipore vandalised, allegedly by TMC workers.
4.00 pm: In 2014 Congress tweeted Rahul Gandhi's statement that 20 lakh people lost their money in chit fund scam in West Bengal. We took oath on 26 May 2014 so all these inquiries in Narada, Saradha scams started before us, says Ravi Shankar Prasad.
3.46 pm: Is it a crime to investigate scams? The fundamental question today is that this is not a gathbandhan, we call it an opportunistic alliance, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
3.45 pm: In 2014 Congress tweeted Rahul Gandhi's statement that 20 lakh ppl lost their money in chit fund scam in West Bengal. We took oath on May 26,2014 so all these inquiries in Narada, Saradha scams started before us, says Ravi Shankar Prasad.
3.15 pm: What is happening? A Police Commissioner is sitting on a dharna with politicians? What is the meaning of this? By sitting on dharna West Bengal CM is following the footsteps of Arvind Kejriwal, says Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
3.00 pm: Piyush Goyal attacks Mamata, says denying permission for Yogi Adityanath's helicopter to land unfortunate.
2.45 pm: A confidential report prepared by West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
1.52 pm: "These things can only be explained by people who are doing it. I don’t react to such things. The CBI and the government in question will explain. Until the Election Commission announces the date of elections, anything can happen in the country," says Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on CBI action in West Bengal:These things can only be explained by people who are doing it. I don’t react to such things.CBI&the govt in question will explain. Until the Election Commission announces the date of elections, anything can happen in the country. pic.twitter.com/kvAvBWrBku— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
1.42 pm: "The manner in which constitutional institutions in this country, like CBI, are being misused to settle scores with opponents is unfortunate... We stand with Mamata ji. If institutions continue being discredited like this federal structure will be fractured," says former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Former J&K CM M Mufti: Manner in which constitutional institutions in this country, like CBI, are being misused to settle scores with opponents is unfortunate...We stand with Mamata ji. If institutions continue being discredited like this federal structure will be fractured. pic.twitter.com/BJaa0c18AD— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
1.35 pm: The CBI was sleeping for 4 years. When Modi attacked Mamata Banerjee, next day 40 officers go there. Modi himself created ample scope for the machinery to be used by the government. I have never used the CBI to harm anyone in this country, though I was the head of a coalition. I never took any decision to take revenge, says former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.
1.30 pm: "This isn't a good development. I think the central government must behave the properly and take the state governments in confidence. The central government is misusing the constitutional institutions. It's not good for the future. How the central government is behaving with opposition leaders is disastrous," says HD Kumaraswamy, Karnataka CM.
Karnataka CM on CBI issue: This isn't a good development. I think central govt must behave properly&take confidence of state govts. Central govt is misusing constitutional institutions. It's not good for future. How central govt is behaving with opposition leaders is disastrous. pic.twitter.com/VoSVl0fng8— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
1.25 pm: BJP delegation comprising Nirmala Sitharaman, Bhupendra Yadav, Mukul Roy, Kailash Vijayvargia, MA Naqvi, SS Ahluwalia meets Election Commission.
12.58 pm: Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar's mother says that her son is innocent.
12.56 pm: Mamata Banerjee goes through documents continuing her routine work as the Chief Minister, at 'Save the Constitution' dharna in Kolkata.
#ModiVsDidi | @MamataOfficial goes through documents continuing her routine work as the Chief Minister, at 'Save the Constitution' dharna in Kolkata— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) February 4, 2019
Follow LIVE updates: https://t.co/m0BK5G9CbR pic.twitter.com/tuox6FuADM
12.47 pm: West Bengal to move Calcutta High Court against the CBI.
12.39 pm: MK Stalin and Chandrababu Naidu have spoken to Mamata Banerjee over the phone and extended support.
12.35 pm: BJP delegation comprising Nirmala Sitharaman, Bhupendra Yadav, Mukul Roy, Kailash Vijayvargia, MA Naqvi, SS Ahluwalia reaches Election Commission.
12.30 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 pm amid Opposition protest.
12.25 pm: Mamata violating Supreme Court order. The situation in Kolkata had gone out of hand, had to call CRPF, says the home minister.
12.22 pm: Opposition parties indulge in massive sloganeering in the Lok Sabha. Calls of 'CBI tota hai' reverberates.
12.20 pm: Mamata is stopping CBI from probe in chit fund scam. It is an unprecedented situation in Kolkata, says Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
12.13 pm: Opposition parties have supported Mamata Banerjee. Who are these people? They are out on bail. Such people are standing together. This is not Mahagathbandhan, they are divided by a vision and united by corruption. The corrupt are standing together, says Javadekar.
#ModiVsDidi | Whatever is happening in Kolkata and West Bengal is one of a kind. Never before was an investigating team taken into custody by police. It's a murder of democracy: @PrakashJavdekar— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) February 4, 2019
LIVE updates: https://t.co/E0senLd2S1 pic.twitter.com/HeLSkQJzxZ
12.12 pm: "Whatever is happening in Kolkata&WB is one of a kind. Never before was an investigating team taken into custody by police. It's a murder of democracy. We want to ask Mamata Banerjee why is she staging dharna, who does she want to shield? Police Commissioner or herself?" asks BJP leader Prakash Javadekar.
11.55 am: If CM of a big state as WB,is sitting on dharna, then it is a serious matter. Is this CBI vs Mamata Banerjee or Mamata Banerjee vs BJP, we'll find out soon. If CBI is being misused, it's a matter of dignity of the nation, and prestige of the agency (CBI), says Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena.
Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena: If CM of a big state as WB,is sitting on dharna, then it is a serious matter. Is this CBI vs Mamata Banerjee or Mamata Banerjee vs BJP, we'll find out soon. If CBI is being misused, it's a matter of dignity of the nation, and prestige of the agency (CBI). pic.twitter.com/LggpODHxzw— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
11.50 am: Besides West Bengal, such things have been heard from other states too. BJP¢ral govt have started misusing CBI as elections are approaching. Not only I, not only Samajwadi Party, but all political parties are saying this, says Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Akhilesh Yadav, SP chief on CBI issue in West Bengal: There was CBI row, centre was scared of a CBI director, now they are trying to scare everyone using CBI. Who has misused the institutions? If someone has politicised the institutions, it is BJP. https://t.co/OxsIQqDk6E— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 4, 2019
11.48 am: From the day BJP has come to power at the Centre, they have paid very less attention towards working for the country but towards eliminating opposition parties, this has been their focus for the past 5 years.There is no other party more corrupt than BJ, says Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Ghulam Nabi Azad,Congress: From the day BJP has come to power at the Centre, they have paid very less attention towards working for the country but towards eliminating opposition parties, this has been their focus for the past 5 years.There is no other party more corrupt than BJP pic.twitter.com/Zhae2bFrH2— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
11.47 am: Mamata apologises to farmers for not attending protest rally.
11.46 am: Modi government playing politics o vendetta.
11.45 am: Farmers troubled by demonetisation.
11.42 am: Centre afraid of Trinamool's policies. Modi government scared of our policies for welfare of farmers.
11 am: Karnataka Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara tweeted in support of Mamata Banerjee.
In complete solidarity with @MamataOfficial led West Bengal for standing up to a government which has made a habit out of bulldozing institutions and constitutional principle of federalism. It seems the PM has completely forgotten what he was talking day in and day out as CM!— Dr. G Parameshwara (@DrParameshwara) February 4, 2019
10.50 am: SC to hear tomorrow CBI plea seeking directions to Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to cooperate with the investigation in Saradha chit fund case.
10.40 am: Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar "potential accused" in chit fund probe, should surrender evidence, CBI tells Supreme Court amid showdown. The agency said Rajeev Kumar should surrender evidence. The top court will take up the case tomorrow morning.
10.11 am: "What is Mamata scared of?" asks BJP leader Nalin Kohli.
10.07 am: Traffic restrictions imposed in the Metro Cinema area where the chief minister is on a sit-in protest.
10 am: Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar met CM Mamata Banerjee at dharna site. The CM has resumed the dharna after taking a short break earlier this morning. The dharna began last night.
West Bengal: Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar (in grey shirt) leaves from the site of CM Mamata Banerjee's 'Save the Constitution' dharna after meeting her. The CM has been back at the dharna after taking a short break earlier this morning. The dharna began last night. pic.twitter.com/Jhuptj8IOh— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
9.45 am: "We will hold discussions with opposition party leaders in Delhi today and draft an action plan on a nation-wide movement. TDP MPs will strongly protest along with other opposition leaders today," says Andhra Pradesh CM&TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu on CBI issue in West Bengal.
9.40 am: TMC to go to the Election Commission over the EVM matter today.
9.38 am: CBI SP, DSP reach Kolkata from Delhi.
9.37 am: Samajwadi Party leader Kiranmoy Nanda reaches dharna venue.
9.30 am: A memorandum has been signed by all the opposition parties and it will be submitted to the Election Commission.
9.25 am: TMC workers are holding protests across the state. Several trains affected due to this.
9.22 am: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will appear for the CBI. While senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi will represent the West Bengal government in the Supreme Court.
9.20 am: Mamata, who is sitting on a dharna, should be reminded of how she sacked RK Pachnanda, the police commissioner in 2013, just because he arrested a TMC cadre for killing a cop. Constitution was not in danger then and is now in peril just because the CBI on the instruction of the Supreme Court investigating police chief Rajeev Kumar for corruption in the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams, a Bengal BJP leader said.
9.15 am: CBI will seek contempt proceedings against West Bengal chief secretary, State DGP and Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The CBI will also seek a directive for Kumar to join the probe.
9.14 am: "I will not hamper any administrative work of my government and there will be smooth functioning of all work. I do not know who all (leaders from other states) are coming to meet me. I have not been informed. I will hold a meeting with all my ministers here behind the dharna manch before the Assembly Session begins today," says Mamata Banerjee from Dharna spot.
9 am: Mamata Banerjee will hold meetings at dharna spot before going to Assembly to present Budget. Bengal Cabinet to meet at dharna spot.
8.50 am: Latest visuals of Mamata Banerjee who has been sitting on a dharna since 8.30 am on Sunday.
8.40 am: A high-level BJP delegation including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Bhupendra Yadav to meet Election Commission today on West Bengal issue.
8.10 am: TMC leader Derek O'Brien tweeted and thanked opposition leaders for extending support.
All of us together Thank u @H_D_Devegowda@RahulGandhi Behen MayawatiJi@mkstalin@yadavakhilesh@ncbn @ArvindKejriwal@Pawarspeaks@laluprasadrjd@OmarAbdullah@MehboobaMufti— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) February 4, 2019
7 am: Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, N Chandrababu Naidu extend support to Mamata.
I spoke with Mamata Di tonight and told her we stand shoulder to shoulder with her.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 3, 2019
The happenings in Bengal are a part of the unrelenting attack on India’s institutions by Mr Modi & the BJP.
The entire opposition will stand together & defeat these fascist forces.
6.40 am: Latest visuals from near Metro Channel where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is holding her 'Save the Constitution' dharna over the ongoing CBI issue.
Farooq Abdullah, National Conference on CBI issue in West Bengal: Her (Mamata Banerjee) allegation is right. This country is in danger as its becoming dictatorial. They (Central govt) are not masters of this country, people are.
Farooq Abdullah, National Conference on CBI issue in West Bengal: Her (Mamata Banerjee) allegation is right. This country is in danger as its becoming dictatorial. They (Central govt) are not masters of this country, people are. pic.twitter.com/uVbAFdiSXf— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019