Calling the Supreme Court’s order a “moral victory,” the chief minister who is on a satyagraha in Kolkata said: “I am not pleading for Rajeev Kumar, I am pleading for millions of people of this country. It is a victory of the people of Bengal. It is a victory of our Save India campaign. It is the victory of our forces, our democracy and our Constitution. It is a victory of the Opposition.”
Adding that the state government was ready to co-operate, she said, “We have been saying this for a long time that he (Kumar) should be questioned in a neutral place. Rajeev Kumar never said he will not be available. He said he wants to meet at a mutual place, if you want to ask for any clarification, you can come and we can sit. But the CBI went to arrest him. They went to his house, on a secret operation, on Sunday, without any notice. Now the court has given a verdict in our favour and we welcome it.” “This is a jan andalon, not TMC andalon,” the chief minister told from her dharna manch.
Launching an attack against the BJP-led NDA government for “political vendetta,” Banerjee said, “The government is trying to arrest everyone. They are putting everyone in jail. We will continue to fight against this and the Opposition is united on this. We thank the Opposition parties which have supported us and stood by us.”
Asked if she will continue sitting on dharna, the CM said she would “consult other leaders” including Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. “Let me talk to my leaders, I don’t go alone,” she said.
The CBI which had accused Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar of being a “potential accused” in the Saradha scam case and of “destroying material evidence” had moved the Supreme Court against the state government for contempt of court. Ordering that no coercive steps can be taken against Kumar, the Supreme Court said the IPS officer will have to appear for questioning before CBI in a neutral place. The court will hear the matter again on February 28.
Banerjee began an indefinite dharna on Sunday evening after a team of CBI officials landed at Kumar’s residence in connection with the case. Alleging coup against her government, Mamata accused the Centre of “misusing police to take control of the police and all other institutions.”Several Opposition leaders came out in support of Mamata’s strike, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi. AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, DMK’s MK Stalin, among others.