Friday, 6 January 2017

Post Arrests, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Asks MPs To Tread With Caution


Rattled by the arrest of two of her MPs in the Rose Valley chit fund scam in past five days, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has now instructed her MPs not to respond to summons by the investigating agencies without consulting senior leaders of the party. Banerjee has laid down certain instructions for her party colleagues, who she thinks could be the next ‘targets’ of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In case of a summons, the party’s decision would be final, Banerjee stressed.

Significantly, at least six more MPs and a senior cabinet minister are now under the scanner of CBI, a source told ET. Apart from intensifying the political movement on the streets of Bengal and Delhi, Banerjee is said to have told her colleagues to explore legal actions against such arrests.

“Didi wants people to know how the Modi government is playing vindictive politics for protesting against demonetisation. Mamata Banerjee has been the only leader who had the guts to stand up against Modi while others backed away — she wants people to realise this,” said a senior MP, who didn’t want to be identified.

Banerjee felt that Sudip Bandyopadhyay’s arrest was a calculated move by the Centre to target senior party leaders and have them arrested so that the party loses credibility, and described the whole thing as a political vendetta.

The Bengal chief minister alleInged that Narenedra Modi’s government is using its muscle power so that she buckles down from her agenda of protesting against demonetisation, inappropriate allocation of funds, and other issues.

She said her leaders to be directly arrested if that’s what CBI wants –there’s no need to carry out lengthy investigations. Meanwhile, the CBI summoned the principal of St Xaviers’ College Father Felix Raj for questioning in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam.