AS TENSION between the Centre and West Bengal government escalated and both the BJP and Trinamool Congress continued their war of words, the Congress is finding itself in a spot of bother. Congress president Rahul Gandhi had extended support to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee but the party’s Bengal unit, which is opposed to her, now wants the high command to go slow and take note of their concerns.
As Banerjee and her party celebrated the Supreme Court order claiming moral victory, senior Bengal Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury went to the extent of demanding imposition of President’s rule in Bengal, arguing there is no rule of law and democracy left in the state. He said the apex court ruling was no moral victory for Banerjee. He said the Supreme Court has given permission to the CBI to question Kolkata police commissioner. “I don’t know what victory is it.”
“There is nothing left in Bengal. Free and fair elections are not allowed to take place, the chief minister herself sits on a dharna if somebody comes to the residence of a police commissioner, the office of the CBI is locked down. There is a constitutional crisis in Bengal,” he told The Indian Express. Interestingly, the BJP too had made a similar demand. He said Banerjee has been thoroughly exposed now.
“When Bengal was looted and duped by those chit fund companies, at that time the morality of Mamata Banerjee did not provoke her to do something for the people. Hundreds of those victims committed suicide. That time Banerjee’s morality was not aroused. Now for extending protection to a police commissioner, who is recognised as a stooge of Mamata Banerjee, her morality, her passion has aroused. This is the kind of morality that she possesses,” he said.
Interestingly, Chowdhury said it was the Congress which had first moved the Supreme Court with a demand for a CBI investigation into the chit fund scam.
Asked about Gandhi’s support, he said the Congress being a national party has its national views.
“Across the nation, it has been amply proved that the CBI, ED are being misused. The institution of CBI, RBI, ED are being undermined. It is a long list of accusations against the NDA government. You cannot segregate West Bengal from other institutions or other issues. The Congress has been viewing this issue on a national prespective. But so far as Bengal is concerned, we are concerned about the problems of the local people. Our concern is for the lakhs of people who have been cheated. Many of them have committed suicide. Our concern is that they should be given relief,” he said.
He said the investigation into the chit fund scam had been making very slow progress till recently and argued a Supreme Court monitored probe cannot be termed as vindictive attitude.
“The investigation was a Supreme Court monitored investigation. If anybody says that Supreme Court has been intervening into the autonomy of the state, it will not be correct. But the procedure adopted by the CBI may be wrong. That is a different kettle of fish. That does not mean that the entire investigation can be called vindictive attitude etc because it was a Supreme Court monitored investigation. Rather we had been alleging for the last couple of years that the investigation is going on in a staggered pace,” he said.