KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the central agencies should be given autonomy for their impartial role and to protect democracy.
Hitting out at the Narendra Modi-led Union government for using central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to interfere in the affairs of the states, Mamata said, ‘’The BJP government is bulldozing federal structure of India and interfering into state’s affairs using central agencies. These agencies should be given autonomy. The Centre will pay for the salary of the employees working in the central agencies but the law enforcement wings should be allowed to work freely. It would be possible only if these agencies are allowed to function independently,’’ she said at the state secretariat.
The ED has already interrogated her nephew Abhishek Banerjee and his wife in connection with a money laundering case linked to coal pilferage.
The CBI is presently conducting a probe into alleged irregularities in the recruitment of Group C and Group D staff in schools through the School Service Commission (SSC). The agency interrogated former education minister Partha Chatterjee last week and he has been summoned again this week.
Criticising the Centre, Mamata said the BJP’s rule is worse than that of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mussolini. She also called the Centre’s latest price cut on fuel and subsidy on cooking gas prices under the Ujjawala scheme an election stunt stating that only a small number of people belonging to the below poverty level category would be able to avail the benefit.