KOLKATA: Union minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar Monday claimed that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was on a dharna to save herself from the CBI.
Banerjee began her sit-in protest at a city landmark on Sunday night over the CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police chief in connection with chit fund scams, insisting it stifled the spirit of "Constitution and federalism".
In a dramatic showdown with the BJP government, the furious Trinamool Congress chief began the sit-in right in front of the Metro Cinema to protest "insults" she faced at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, hours after a CBI team that had gone to question Kumar was detained in a rare face-off between the police establishments of the Centre and the state.
The West Bengal chief minister had on Sunday said that she would not attend the presentation of the State Budget at the Assembly on Monday and described the evolving situation an "emergency".
Hitting back, Javadekar, at a press conference here, said, "This is not Narendra Modi's emergency but Mamata Banerjee's emergency in Bengal. She is on a dharna to save herself from the CBI."
"We would like to warn the TMC that we will fight against the emergency in Bengal. Indira Gandhi had also imposed emergency in the country. We had fought her and defeated her. We would defeat the TMC also," he said.
West Bengal opposition party activists are being killed and being stopped from taking out rallies, the senior BJP leader alleged.
"Choppers of Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath and Smriti Irani were not allowed to land. Is this democracy? Is this not an emergency? She is abusing the Modi government," Javadekar said.
He claimed that constitutional order has completely broken down in the state, but stopped short of demanding imposition of President's rule in West Bengal.
"We would say both law and order and Constitutional order has completely broken down in the state."
On whether the BJP would demand imposition of President's rule in the state, he replied, "We won't say anything as of now."
Wondering how come IPS officers in plain clothes can sit on a political dharna along with the chief minister, the senior BJP leader said CBI officers were stopped from doing their duty allegedly to "protect" the chit fund evidences in Kolkata police chief's possession from falling into the hands of the federal probe agency.
West Bengal Director General of Police Virendra, State Security Advisor Surajit Kar Purkayastha, and Kumar were with Banerjee at the dharna site for sometime on Sunday night.
Denying TMC's claims that the BJP was using the CBI to serve its own political purpose, Javadekar said, "The CBI was investigating the chit fund cases as per the orders of the Supreme Court."