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Mamata Banerjee lashes out at Centre; violent protests by TMC activists after Sudip Bandyopadhyay’s arrest

The chief minister challenged PM Modi that he can't suppress the voice of the people.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: January 4, 2017 8:21:15 pm
mamata banerjee West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a media conference at her office in Howrah near Kolkata on Tuesday regarding the arrest of party MP Sudip Bandypadhyay in Rose Valley Chit Fund Case. (PTI Photo)

Stung by the arrest of TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using CBI, ED and Income Tax department against those who raised voice against demonetisation and dared him to arrest her and all TMC MPs. She asserted that their protest against note ban would continue.

“I just can’t think that Sudip Bandopadhyay, who is our party’s leader in the Lok Sabha will be arrested. I also have information that Modi wants to arrest many other TMC leaders like Abhishek Banerjee, Sovan Chatterjee (city mayor) and Firhad Hakim (minister),” she told reporters immediately after Sudip’s arrest by the CBI in connection with the alleged Rose Valley chit fund scam.

“I am shocked, but not scared. Let him arrest all of us. I openly challenge him to arrest me. Let me see his guts. He may silence others, but not me. He can’t suppress our voice. He can’t bulldoze people’s voice,” she said. “We will fight legal battle in every case,” she added.

WATCH VIDEO | TMC Workers Protest At Tughlaq Road Thana After TMC MP’s Arrest In New Delhi

Earlier, at a meeting in Medinipur she charged Modi with using CBI, ED and IT against persons who protested against demonetisation. The TMC supremo also convened an emergency meeting on Sudip’s arrest to chalk out the party’s action plan. TMC would launch dharnas to protest against Sudip’s arrest from tomorrow, she said, adding “politics cannot be done by resorting to vendetta”.

She alleged that Bandopadhyay was arrested due to “pressure from the PMO” and asked “why should Narendra Modi and Amit Shah not be arrested? “The party is behind Sudip. He has not done anything wrong. Even if he is in jail, the people of Bengal will keep him in their heart,” she said.

ALSO READ: BJP office in Kolkata allegedly attacked by TMC students’ wing members

The TMC chief also said that it was the duty of the Centre, the Sebi and the RBI to keep a check on ponzi schemes in which they have “failed completely”. “I challenge Modi directly. You cannot do anything because Trinamool Congress is right and you are wrong. You cannot suppress the voice of the people. you have to withdraw restrictions (on withdrawal of cash)… Modi has no clue where this political vidictiveness will take him. We are not scared and will continue our demonstration against demonetisation,” she said.

WATCH VIDEO | TMC Workers Allegedly Attack BJP Leader Krishna Bhattacharya’s House

Mamata said, “He (Modi) has got a government… Even I also have a government in my hand. I can also arrest people here who are involved in riots. But I have not done so because I believe in political courtesy.”

Reacting to Sudip Bandopadhyay’s arrest Union Coal and Power minister Piyush Goyal said if someone did any wrong he would get caught. “If someone has done any wrong, he will get caught. If someone tries to cover his or her own wrongdoing by baseless allegations….. We never interfered in investigative affairs,” Goyal, who is in the city, said.

WATCH VIDEO | Rose Valley Chit Fund Scam: Mamata Banerjee Slams PM Modi After TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay’s Arrest 

Shortly after Bandopadhyay’s arrest, suspected activists of the TMC’s student wing hurled stones at the BJP’s state headquarters here. The Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) has, however, denied involvement in the incident.

Hundreds of TMCP activists shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP and threw stones outside the BJP state headquarters in the city, official sources said. The police quickly cordoned off the area and chased the protestors away. “Some people threw stones at the BJP office. Later we used force and dispersed the crowd,” a Kolkata police official said.

Reacting to the incident, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “People carrying flags of the TMC threw stones at our office because their leader has been arrested in a scam. Is this democracy? They should have thought about it before looting common people.”

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