TRINAMOOL WORKERS staged protests and put up blockades across West Bengal Monday, as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continued her dharna against the CBI’s move to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with various chit fund cases.
Banerjee, who had started her dharna around 9 pm Sunday, also used the venue to address a farmers’ convention at the Netaji Indoor Stadium through video conference, hold a Cabinet meeting to approve the state Budget and participate in a police investiture ceremony. The venue later turned into a platform for Opposition unity when RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and DMK’s Kanimozhi met Banerjee to extended their support.
India’ banner to save the unity and integrity of the country, and above all, to save the democratic rights of people, their citizenship rights, property rights, freedom of speech and to ensure that officers can conduct their work in an impartial manner,” Banerjee said. “Leaders from across the country, who believe in the federal structure, are supporting me in this struggle. A situation has been created in the country where opposing the BJP is seen as being anti-national. They are using this as an excuse to use different investigating agencies to harass people and throw them in jail,” she said.
“This Satyagraha Movement to save India’s democracy will continue till February 8… from the next day, the Madhyamik Examination will start, when restrictions on the use of mikes will come into place,” she said.
Participating in the joint investiture ceremony of Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police on a stage near her dharna platform, Banerjee backed Kumar. “If someone insults the police, and targets them without any reason, I will protest. Sitting in Delhi, they think they are big leaders and want to arrest the state leaders. I will stand by those officers who have been working honestly,” she said.
Referring to the chit fund cases, Banerjee said: “Chit funds came into existence in 1980. Why did investigations start after 2011 (when the TMC came to power)? It was our government which arrested Sudipta Sen (promoter of the Saradha Group), not the previous government. We constituted an SIT, we constituted the Shyamal Sen Commission and returned Rs 250-300 crore to depositors.”
Kanimozhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured Opposition unity by using various agencies against leaders. RJD’s Tejashwi said the Centre had “done the same thing” to his father Lalu Prasad.