Millennium Post

Govt faces Oppn heat over CBI action in West Bengal

New Delhi: The CBI-Kolkata Police row Monday washed out proceedings in both houses of Parliament, even as Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed the developments in West Bengal as "unprecedented" and warned that the Centre has powers to take action.

After repeated adjournments, both the houses were adjourned for the day.

In the Lok Sabha, Trinamool Congress members were joined in their protest by members of the Congress, BJD, NCP, SP and RJD who spoke out against the Centre over developments in West Bengal, with many of them alleging that the Narendra Modi government was misusing the CBI.

Amid noisy protests by Trinamool Congress members, Singh told the Lok Sabha that it was "unprecedented" that the CBI was stopped from lawfully doing its duty when it wanted to question Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar regarding chit fund scams on Sunday.

West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi has submitted a report to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the situation that unfolded in the city after the police allegedly obstructed a CBI team from questioning Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha scam, Raj Bhavan sources said Monday.

The contents of the report were, however, not immediately known.

Earlier, opposition parties in Lok Sabha attacked the government over the alleged misuse of central agencies against political rivals, saying it was against democratic norms.

Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy said there is a crisis in West Bengal and that the Centre was "misusing" the CBI to politically capture the state.

While alleging that the Centre was "constantly using the CBI to throttle the Opposition", Roy said the party is vigorously protesting with all forces at its command.

BJD leader B Mahtab said the incident smacks of impropriety and also questions the integrity of the CBI.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge charged that the government was using the CBI as a weapon to finish the Opposition and put in place an autocratic regime.

Referring to alleged misuse of the CBI, Kharge said such things have happened not only in West Bengal but also in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Neither the people nor any party would bow down before such actions, he added.

NCP leader Supriya Sule said her party is condemning the CBI for allegedly using its muscle power against a woman chief minister.

Dharmendra Yadav (SP) and Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav (RJD) also spoke against the Centre.

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has alleged that the BJP wants to stay in power "by hook or by crook" and was using the CBI as an "election agent".

The opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu Monday extended support to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's 'fight' to "save democracy" amid her ongoing face-off with the Centre and the CBI.

DMK President MK Stalin nominated his sister and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi to meet Banerjee in Kolkata.

Rejecting the opposition charge that the CBI's move to question Kumar amounted to an attack on the federal structure by the Modi government, BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it could not be cited as a shield to save the corrupt and asserted that the agency acted as per law.

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