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Mamata vs Centre HIGHLIGHTS: Bengal CM calls off dharna, says it’s a victory for Constitution

CBI vs Kolkata Police face off HIGHLIGHTS, Mamata Banerjee Dharna in Kolkata: Supreme Court issues notice to West Bengal govt, tells CBI it can't arrest Rajeev Kumar. Follow latest news below.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 5, 2019 9:26:41 pm
West Bengal vs Mamata: CBI case against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar in Supreme Court today Mamata Banerjee vs Centre HIGHLIGHTS: The West Bengal Chief Minister with Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

CBI vs Kolkata Police HIGHLIGHTS: The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal got a major relief from the Supreme Court Tuesday as the top court restrained the CBI from taking coercive steps against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, including arresting him. The court, however, issued notice to the West Bengal government on the CBI’s petition.

The central agency has accused Kumar of “non-cooperation” in its investigation in the Saradha chit funds case and alleged he “destroyed, destructed and tampered with the material primary evidence” while handing over the same to the agency. A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi will hear the matter again on February 20.

In an affidavit to the Supreme Court Tuesday, the CBI accused Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar of “conniving with the accused/potential accused persons” and was “actively subverting the investigation process”. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, welcomed the verdict and said it was a victory of the people.

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Centre vs West Bengal: Supreme Court verdict on CBI's petition against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar. Follow live updates in Bangla 

18:36 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Mamata Banerjee calls off dharna, calls it as victory of democracy

Mamata Banerjee called off the dharna today and termed it as a victory for the Constitution and democracy. She further intends to take up the issue next week in Delhi. The West Bengal chief minister asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resign instead and return to Gujarat where she believes is a "One man govt, one party government". 

"This dharna (Save the Constitution) is victory for the Constitution and democracy, so, let us end it today. The Court gave a positive judgement today. PM you resign from Delhi and go back to Gujarat. One man govt, one party government is there," said Mamata Banerjee as quoted by ANI.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, present at the occasion, vouched to continue till NDA put a stop to the "harassment". "NDA government wants to divide India, we want to unite India. We will not stop here, we will continue till they stop this harassment," said Naidu, ANI quoted as saying. 

18:23 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav slams BJP
17:06 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Chandrababu Naidu meets Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu meets Mamata Banerjee at the stage where she has been sitting on 'Save the Constitution' dharna. Naidu says he supports Banerjee's protest and attacks Modi government.

Naidu called Mamata Banerjee as the "architect" of the federal front and claimed that she would win all 42 seats in West Bengal. "She (Mamata Banerjee) is the architect of the federal front. She is the main pillar of the opposition. She will win all the 42 seats in West Bengal and will be in a decision making position at the national level," PTI quoted Naidu as saying.

Naidu in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Express photo)

17:05 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Nothing more shameful for democracy than a CM sitting on dharna: Yogi Adityanath

On reaching Purulia, Yogi Adityanath took pot shots at West Bengal chief minister and said, "Nothing can be more shameful for a democracy than a Chief Minister sitting on a dharna." During his speech, Uttar Pradesh chief minister also promised to rid the state of TMC's goons and claimed that Bengal should be the land of BJP. "Development is not Mamata Banerjee's priority and we shall throw the state's corrupt government out," said Adityanath.

16:44 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Due to 'undemocratic' activities, 'sanyasi' like me not allowed in WB: Yogi Adityanath

On his way to Purulia, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said due to "undemocratic and unconstitutional activities" in the state, a "sanyasi" like himself was being denied permission to visit Bengal, ANI quoted as saying. 

"This (West Bengal) government is embroiled in undemocratic and unconstitutional activities and that is the reason why a 'sanyasi' and 'yogi' like me is not being allowed to step on the soil of Bengal," said Adityanath.

16:39 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Had agreement with chopper company, they backed out on Feb 1: Mamata Banerjee

On CM Adityanath's chopper being denied permission to land in West Bengal, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee clarified that an agreement was signed with a helicopter company on January 15, however, the company backed out and informed on February 1 that choppers would not be provided, ANI quoted as saying. 

"I won't take names, we had got into an agreement with a helicopter company. We had done advance booking, agreement was signed on Jan 15. It is sad that they informed us on Feb 1 that they will not provide us the helicopters, they backed out," said Banerjee.

16:18 (IST)05 Feb 2019
MHA directs Bengal govt to start disciplinary action against state top cop

Home Ministry directs West Bengal government to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar for violation of all India service rules.

16:12 (IST)05 Feb 2019
CM Banerjee's political histrionics brought down by SC: Smriti Irani

Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani said Mamata Banerjee's political histrionics have been brought to a screeching halt by the Supreme Court, quoted as saying by PTI.  Irani pointed out to the "lawlesness" in West Bengal and terming CM Banerjee an "anarchist", she said Banerjee "intervened in the process of collection of evidence by officers, upon whose instructions officers were heckled, manhandled and detained, their families harassed, their homes surrounded," as ANI reported.

15:35 (IST)05 Feb 2019
TMC, BJP hand in gloves in sharing spoils of ponzi scam: Yechury

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Supreme Court order showed both the BJP and the TMC its place and that the two parties were hand in gloves in "sharing the spoils" of the chit fund scam. Yechury said he did not find anything wrong in the way the CBI had embarked on the investigation into the scam in Kolkata. "In this instance when the judiciary orders the CBI to investigate a case, the CBI's movement in the investigation into any state or territory cannot be construed as an attack on the authority or the powers of the state government," he told reporters.

15:23 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Rajya Sabha adjourned for second day in a row

Rajya Sabha proceedings were washed out for the second day in a row on Tuesday amid protests by Opposition parties, including TMC, SP and Congress, over alleged misuse of the CBI in West Bengal. As soon as the House resumed proceedings in the afternoon, members of the TMC, SP and Congress trooped into the well, raising slogans like "Save Constitution, Save Nation".

15:12 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Shahnawaz Hussain denied permission for Murshidabad rally

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain has been denied permission to hold a rally in Murshidabad in West Bengal. 

14:59 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Ask Yogi to take care of Uttar Pradesh first: Mamata Banerjee

Even as uncertainty prevailed over Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's Purulia rally in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee fired a salvo at the BJP leader, asking him to take care of matters related to his state first. “Ask Yogi to take care of Uttar Pradesh first. So many people have been killed, even police were murdered, so many people were lynched, he himself will lose if he contests elections. He doesn’t have a place to stand in UP that’s why he’s roaming around in Bengal,” she said. READ FULL STORY HERE

Mamata Banerjee at the protest site in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Express photo)

13:47 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Express Cartoon on CBI vs West Bengal

This is E P Unny's cartoon in The Indian Express today. For more cartoons, click here.


13:03 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Who is Mamata Ji scared of: Former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Former Madhya Pradesh chief mister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is set to address a public gathering in West Bengal, said the Constitution permits all political parties to present their stand before the public. "Who is Mamata Ji scared of? I have a rally in Berhampore tomorrow but I have been informed that the permission for my chopper's landing&rally's venue has not been given.," he added. (ANI)

12:45 (IST)05 Feb 2019
CBI vs West Bengal: Himanta Biswa Sharma calls Mamata's campaign against him 'frivolous'

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has called the campaign against him by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee "frivolous and baseless", adding that he is not "fortunate enough like your police commissioner". The minister had been summoned by the CBI and his home raided as part of its investigation in the Saradha scam. However, he was not named in any chargesheet. Both Roy and Sarma joined the BJP during the probe.

Read: CBI pressure eased off on two in Saradha after they joined BJP

11:59 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Moral victory for CBI: Ravi Shankar Prasad on SC order on Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called the SC order a "moral victory for CBI." Asking Opposition not to "politicise" the issue, Shankar said: " Today we've to ask larger questions on behalf of the party. Lakhs of small investors were cheated. Is it not our moral obligation for an investigation? Why is Mamata ji silent on this? Why are the other political parties silent on this? This order was given by SC to investigate the conspiracy angle & also money laundering angle. This investigation must be done in a fair manner. Let's not politicise it."

11:56 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Centre vs Mamata | Fight against govt's attempt to discredit autonomous bodies, says Mallikarjun Kharge

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge accused the Centre of "settling scores with the opposition after interfering in autonomous bodies." Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Kharge said: "We are fighting against those elements. It is not about an individual, an officer or a party, we are fighting against govt's attempt to discredit autonomous bodies," reported ANI.

11:41 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Centre vs West Bengal | Mamata calls SC order 'victory of Opposition'

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her stand is “vindicated” after the Supreme Court’s order on Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar. She added that it was a "victory of our forces, our democracy and our Constitution" and "a victory of the Opposition”. Mamata added: “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.” Read full report here.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her dharna in Kolkata on Tuesday (Express Photo: Shashi Ghosh)

11:35 (IST)05 Feb 2019
Saradha chit fund probe: SC prevents Kumar's arrest, issues notice to Bengal govt

Here's a recap of what just happened in the Supreme Court: The apex court has prevented the arrest of Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar, but asked him to cooperate with the CBI's investigation in a "neutral" place — Shillong. The SC has also sought response from the West Bengal Chief Secretary, DGP and Kumar by February 18. The case will be taken up on February 20.

In court, Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, said that developments in the state showed “total breakdown of constitutional machinery”.

11:26 (IST)05 Feb 2019
In Parliament, TMC MPs cheer SC order on CBI plea against Rajeev Kumar

Trinamool Congress MPs in Parliament rejoiced when the CBI verdict came in this morning. 

West Bengal vs Mamata: CBI case against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar in Supreme Court today Mamata Banerjee vs Centre LIVE Updates: Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar with CM Mamata Banerjee. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

A series of events on Sunday led to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's indefinite dharna in Kolkata. A CBI team landed up at Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar's residence on Sunday evening in connection with the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams. However, some members of the team were taken into custody by the Kolkata Police, following a scuffle.

In protest of the Centre's "misuse of police to take control of the police and all other institutions", Mamata began an indefinite strike. 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.

The BJP maintained that it was the Congress that had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for an investigation into the chit fund scams. "We took oath on May 26,2014 so all these inquiries in Narada, Saradha scams started before us," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

West Bengal vs Mamata: CBI case against Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar in Supreme Court today

The CBI, meanwhile, moved the Supreme Court Monday saying it “apprehends” Kumar is “destroying electronic evidence” and he should be directed to “immediately surrender/make himself available” for investigation. Rajeev Kumar is a 1989 batch IPS officer of West Bengal and is currently the Kolkata Police Commissioner. He was appointed as Kolkata Commissioner in the year 2016 in place of Surajit Kar Purakayastha, who was promoted to the CID department.

Also read | The importance of being IPS officer Rajeev Kumar — for either side

Kumar is now seen as close to the TMC dispensation. Sources told The Indian Express that the state BJP unit has been pressing the party leadership in Delhi to put pressure on a section of IPS officers seen as close to Banerjee before the Lok Sabha polls, and Kumar heads the list.

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