Opposition backs Mamata as she takes on Modi government over CBI-Kolkata Police face-off

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 04 February 2019, 01:02 PM
Opposition backs Mamata Banerjee in her protest against 'fascist' BJP government (File Photo)
Opposition backs Mamata Banerjee in her protest against 'fascist' BJP government (File Photo)

Barely hours after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) made a failed bid to quiz Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scam case, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday sat on a dharna at Esplanade in a bid to save the "federal structure" in the country. In an unprecedented development, a number of CBI officers, who had gone to question Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scam cases, were bundled into police jeeps, whisked to a police station and briefly detained on Sunday.

Amidst escalating tension between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Centre, Loudon Street in central Kolkata witnessed a virtual showdown between the state police and the CBI. Even though there were initially conflicting reports about some CBI officers being arrested, the city police later denied the claim, adding that the officers were taken to the Shakespeare police station to check if they had the documents required to question Kumar. However, all five CBI officers that were detained at the police station in Kolkata have been released later in the evening.

As politics played out on the street of Kolkata, social media has been flooded with reactions of different politicians from across party lines.

Derek O'Brien, TMC:

Reacting strong to the unprecedented incident, TMC spokesperson Derek O'Brien said that the party has spoken to all like-minded parties and given them an update on what happened today in Kolkata. It has happened to Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Congress, TDP, AAP and all the parties.

Rahul Gandhi, Congress:

"I spoke with Mamata Di tonight and told her we stand shoulder to shoulder with her. The happenings in Bengal are a part of the unrelenting attack on India’s institutions by Mr Modi AND the BJP. The entire opposition will stand together & defeat these fascist forces," tweeted the Congress chief.

Abhishek Singhvi, Congress:

Taking to Twitter, Congress national spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, Modi and Shah have ensured a non-functional Parliament and non-productive session by doing such assaults on federal polity on Sunday evening. Did the CBI land up to have coffee with the CP on Sunday? No warrant mere section 160 notice. All this despite operating the HC stay in favour of the police officer.

Akhilesh Yadav, SP:

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also launched a scathing attack at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, saying "We have full support to Mamata Banerjee Ji's dharna against the aggressive policy of the BJP government and the political misuse of the CBI. "Today the Opposition and the people of the country are united to defeat the BJP in the next elections," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister added.

"The BJP wants to stay in power by hook or by crook. They are so scared of losing that CBI is being used as election agents. This is undemocratic and against the spirit of the constitution. We demand due process be followed so that CBI is not used as a tool of political interference," Yadav wrote in another tweet.

MK Stalin, DMK:

Extending his support to the West Bengal chief minister, DMK president MK Stalin said, "The independence of every institution has been compromised under this fascist BJP Government. I stand with Mamata Banerjee - 'Didi' in her fight to protect the federal structure of this country and to save democracy".

Tejashwi Yadav, RJD:

"Spoke to respected Mamata Banerjee Ji. Extended RJD’s support, BJP has not only venomous and nefarious agenda against opposition leaders but Indian Administrative Service and Police Officers. Might visit Kolkata tomorrow," said RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.

Arvind Kejriwal, AAP:

"Spoke to Mamta didi and expressed solidarity. Modi-Shah duo’s action is completely bizarre and anti-democracy," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

N Chandrababu Naidu, TDP:

Condemning the unprecedented incident in Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said, "After opposition parties started uniting and started to fight together to save democracy, the Modi led BJP is losing all hope. The misuse of institutions by the union government to victimize political opponents in States is reaching dangerous proportions".

"We strongly condemn the incidents happening in Kolkata, a glaring example of how Modi-Shah duo are destroying the institutions. Attacking political opponents in different States, few days before the Parliament elections commence, will have disastrous consequences in the country," Naidu added.

"This is shocking and we strongly condemn this. We stand by Chief Minister of West Bengal to preserve and protect the constitution and spirit of federalism in the country," the TDP president wrote in a series of tweets.

GVL Narasimha Rao, BJP:

On the BJP's side, GVL Narasimha Rao said, "Incident taking place in Kolkata is unfortunate. Mamata Banerjee wants to protect the corrupt in her state, like a dictator. She is obstructing an investigation of the CBI which was there as per the Supreme Court order. She is shredding apart the constitution. We condemn this".

Omar Abdullah, NC:

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said, "Just spoke to Mamata Banerjee Didi to convey the support of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference as she sits on dharna. The use of the CBI as a political tool has crossed all limits as has the Modi government ’s misuse of institutions. A former CM having such little regard for India’s federalism is shocking".

First Published: Sunday, February 03, 2019 10:49 PM
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