West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed “moral victory” on Tuesday after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) plea against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar.
The top court directed Kumar to make himself available before the CBI and “faithfully” cooperate with the agency in investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam probe.
The court also said no coercive steps, including the arrest of the Kolkata Police chief, will take place during the course of investigation.
Banerjee, who is on a sit-in against the CBI’s attempt to question the Kolkata Police chief in connection with chit fund scams, said the Supreme Court’s order is a victory of the common man, democracy and the Constitution.
“There must be some story behind this. Nobody can dare to speak against (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi. Our’s is a mass agitation and we are going to fight it unitedly,” the chief minister said.
Banerjee sat on a “Save India” dharna in front of Metro Cinema in the heart of Kolkata on Sunday night insisting that the latest CBI action was tantamount to stifling the spirit of “Constitution and federalism” in the country.
“We always respect the law and feel that things should run as per the law. But, if someone tries to destroy the pillars on which democracy stands, then there would be nothing left of the democratic process that we are so proud of.
“We really welcome the (Supreme Court) verdict. It is absolutely correct. Our case is very strong. We never said we will not cooperate. This is political vendetta,” Banerjee said.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge hit out at the Centre, saying, “the government is settling scores with opposition after interfering in autonomous bodies. We are fighting against those elements.”
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated Banerjee. He tweeted:
‘Blow to Mamata Banerjee’
The BJP projected the apex court order as a blow to the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal and a moral victory for the investigating agency.
Senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad welcomed the order and said it’s a blow to the Mamata Banerjee government and a victory for the CBI. It also showed that nobody is above the law, including the police commissioner, he added.
The Kolkata police commissioner will appear before the CBI in Shillong as the environment is not conducive in West Bengal, Prasad said.
BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya also thanked the Supreme Court for directing Kumar to appear before the CBI, saying it was a “victory of democracy” and demanded Banerjee’s resignation.
(With PTI inputs)