POLITICS

Mamata Banerjee Announces Nationwide Protests Against Sudip Bandyopadhyay's Arrest

"We condemn, condemn and condemn this."

03/01/2017 6:26 PM IST | Updated 03/01/2017 6:48 PM IST
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KOLKATA -- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday dubbed the arrest of Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay as "vendetta politics" by the Centre as her supporters attacked the BJP office in Kolkata, leaving some 15 people injured.

A furious Banerjee also announced nationwide protests against the Modi government's "vindictive attitude".

Bandyopadhyay was earlier arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Rose Valley Chit Fund scam after being called to the CBI office for interrogation.

Banerjee demanded the arrest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah instead.

"We strongly condemn the politically vindictive attitude of Modi and Amit Shah. They have arrested our Parliamentary Party leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay. He is a veteran politician and senior leader of our party.

"It is all because of our fight against NoteBandi (note ban). We are and will be with the people. Nothing can stop us from being with the people and we will continue with our protest against NoteBandi," she added.

"We condemn, condemn and condemn this," she said in a Facebook post.

As news of the MP's arrest spread, hundreds of Trinamool activists took to the streets. A mob attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party office with stones and vandalized cars parked outside.

The BJP said 15 of its activists were injured. A few bled from the head as they spoke to the media.

Banerjee vowed to launch pan-India protests against what she said was the Centre's vindictive attitude beginning on Wednesday.

"We will hold a demonstration in front of Kolkata RBI on 9 January and there will be dharnas in 10 different states including Delhi, Assam, Odisha and Tripura on 10 and 11 January," she said.

"I also run a government and I also have the power to arrest certain people who are thieves, hooligans and extortionists. This arrest has been made under pressure from the PMO."

"This is vendetta politics because the Trinamool is fighting against the Centre over demonetisation," she told the media.

Banerjee urged people to hit the streets against the Centre.

"I challenge the PM, he cannot do anything, can't suppress the voice of the people. He can't bulldoze people. Many political parties are scared, but are not able to speak out.

"Emergency situation is going on. People should come out on roads against demonetisation, people will teach them a lesson," she said.

Dismissing the allegations, BJP leader Piyush Goyal said the central government "never interferes" in any investigation process.

"We never interfere in any investigation process," Goyal said.

Asked about opposition protests against demonetisation, Goyal said: "This is political opposition. People of India have supported the move."

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