She has been sitting on a “satyagraha” since Sunday evening to protest against “the attack on constitutional norms”. This began after the CBI’s attempt to question Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scams.
Welcoming support for her dharna, Banerjee said, “It’s not a political programme. But all political parties can join us in our protest.”
‘CBI’s action undemocratic’
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi called Banerjee on Sunday, saying the entire opposition is together and it will defeat the fascist forces.
Stalin also lent support to Banerjee, saying he was with the TMC chief in her ‘fight’ to “save democracy.”
The independence of every institution has been “compromised” under the “fascist” BJP government, he added.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the BJP government at the Centre was acting with vengeance against Banerjee as the Opposition parties’ rally in the West Bengal capital on 19 January was a great success.
The TDP chief supremo said, “Cases against those who surrender to the BJP are being lifted. They are digging out old cases against those who oppose the BJP. The recent Kolkata rally was successful, hence the vengeance against Mamata Banerjee.”
Accusing the Narendra Modi government of conspiring to usurp the powers of the state, he said, “They are completely damaging the Centre-state relations.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also came out in support of the TMC chief.
“Spoke to Mamta didi and expressed solidarity. Modi-Shah duo’s action is completely bizarre and anti-democracy,” he tweeted.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav termed the CBI’s action undemocratic and against the spirit of the Constitution.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also threw his weight behind Banerjee, saying the use of the agency as a political tool has crossed all limits.
‘A constitutional breakdown’
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the “unfortunate” and “unprecedented” developments in West Bengal involving the CBI and the Kolkata Police indicate a constitutional breakdown, warning that the Centre has powers to take action.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar claimed that Banerjee was on a dharna to save herself from the CBI.
“This is not Narendra Modi’s emergency but Mamata Banerjee’s emergency in Bengal. She is on dharna to save herself from the CBI.”
The Union HRD minister claimed that constitutional order has completely broken down in the state, but stopped short of demanding imposition of President’s rule in West Bengal.
BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao was quoted as saying by ANI, “Incident taking place in Kolkata are unfortunate. Mamata Banerjee wants to protect the corrupt people in her state, like a dictator. She is obstructing investigation of CBI which was there as per Supreme Court order. She is shredding apart the constitution. We condemn this”.
(With PTI inputs)