Saradha scam: TMC Minister Madan Mitra’s arrest conspiracy to destroy democracy, illegal, says Mamata Banerjee

The TMC alleged that the arrest is politically motivated and the BJP is doing politics of vindictiveness.

By: Express News Service Written by Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay | Kolkata | Updated: December 13, 2014 10:59:47 am
Madan Mitra West Bengal Sports and Transport Minister Madan Mitra arrives to appear before CBI at their Salt Lake office on the outskirts of Kolkata on Friday in connection with mult-crore Saradha chit fund scam. Mitra was later arrested. (Source: PTI photo)

Moments after the CBI arrested state Sports and Transport Minister Madan Mitra in the Saradha scam, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the ruling BJP at the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, saying the arrest was “a conspiracy to destroy democracy in the country”.

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Terming the arrest as “wrong, unconstitutional, undemocratic, unethical, destructive and illegal and an act of political vendetta”, Mamata announced a huge rally that will be held in central Kolkata on Saturday to protest against the “CBI’s political move”.

“The arrest of Madan Mitra is unconstitutional and speaks of political vendetta. The BJP has thrown a challenge and we have accepted it. Tomorrow, I am going to visit Madan at SSKM Hospital. Let Narendra Modi’s police and Amit Shah’s goondas prevent me. They are destroying democracy. They are ruining the country. The present central government is now being controlled by the RSS and it is quite evident,’’ said Banerjee.

However, CBI sources said that Mitra would not be admitted to SSKM, as doctors have said that the minister was fine. Mitra would be produced before the court on Saturday.

The Trinamool Congress, which is weighing all options on whether a privilege motion could be moved in the state Assembly on the issue, will raise the same in the Parliament too.

Mamata said that by arresting Mitra, the CBI had transgressed all limits. “They have not informed the Assembly Speaker. They did not consult us. Madan is unwell and has several medical problems. The Centre has unleashed a reign of coercion. The CBI has become a political tool in the hands of the BJP. In fact, the Centre is now at the hands of the RSS,’’ she said.

Describing it as a conspiracy against her government, Mamata said the decision to arrest Mitra was taken during Amit Shah’s recent visit to Kolkata. “Shah is doing this keeping in mind the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections next year. But I am telling you, it will all be in vain. Modi promised to bring back black money. What happened to the promise? Also, the arrest has hurt the sentiments of the people,” she added.

“Now, the CBI will take anybody it likes. I urge all parties who fight against the BJP to unite. If they are willing we can join them,’’ Mamata said.

Claiming that two days ago, Mitra had handed over his resignation letter to her, Mamata said: “I told him he will have to stay on as minister. I won’t accept his resignation. He is one of our ablest ministers. He is quite popular among players, as he had distributed lots of money to clubs. His arrest has sent shockwaves among them.”

Earlier, Minister for Panchayats and Rural Development Subrata Mukherjee said Trinamool will meet the challenge politically.
“We are not scared. We will meet the challenge politically,’’ he said.

“We are not scared. We will meet the challenge politically,’’ he said.

Mitra’s arrest seems to have thrown a spanner in the wheel of Mamata’s plans to go for a patch-up with mediapersons who had been boycotting all government briefings since last week because of a circular banning their free movement inside Nabanna. Mamata had, in fact, brought sweets for journalists, but as the news of the arrest arrived, she cancelled the press briefing. Later in the evening, she came to the press corner and commented on the arrest.

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