West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has finally ended her 3-day-long dharna on Tuesday over the CBI action against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. After completing her dharna, the Trinamool Congress chief said that she will be soon landing in Delhi to discuss the future course of action. "The court gave a positive judgement today. Next week, we will continue to take up the issue in Delhi," she said. "They (Central government) want to control all the agencies including the state agencies also. PM you resign from Delhi and go back to Gujarat. One man government, one party government is there," she added. "This dharna (Save the Constitution) is a victory for the Constitution and democracy, so, let us end it today," Mamata said.
While answering the question raised by the News Nation over the success of the dharna, Mamata Banerjee said, "of course dharna was successful and it's because of you all."
The Supreme Court's direction that no coercive step, including the arrest of Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar, will take place during the course of an investigation is "our moral victory", she said. The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Kumar to make himself available before the CBI and "faithfully" cooperate with the agency in the investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam probe.
The court also said no coercive steps, including the arrest of the Kolkata Police chief, will take place during the course of the investigation. Banerjee is on a sit-in against the CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police chief in connection with chit fund scams. Her protest entered the third day on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court's order is a victory of the common man, democracy and the Constitution, Banerjee told reporters at the dharna venue in central Kolkata. "There must be some story behind this. Nobody can dare to speak against (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) Modi. Ours is a mass agitation and we are going to fight it unitedly," the chief minister said.
Banerjee sat on a "Save India" dharna in front of Metro Cinema in the heart of Kolkata on Sunday night insisting that the latest CBI action was tantamount to stifling the spirit of "Constitution and federalism" in the country.
"We always respect the law and feel that things should run as per the law. But, if someone tries to destroy the pillars on which democracy stands, then there would be nothing left of the democratic process that we are so proud of.
"We really welcome the [Supreme Court] verdict. It is absolutely correct. Our case is very strong. We never said we will not cooperate. This is a political vendetta," Banerjee said. Several opposition leaders, including Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, DMK's Kanimozhi, RJD's Tejaswhi Yadav, have supported Banerjee's protest.
Mamata Banerjee says police commissioner not on dharna with her
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday described as "blatant lie" the Union Home Ministry charge that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar participated in her dharna, and said the officer never went up to the dais of her three-day sit-in.
Banerjee slammed the Centre for asking West Bengal government to initiate proceedings against Kumar for indiscipline and violation of service rules, and termed the act a "political vendetta". "Why is the central government so scared? Has Rajeev become their nightmare? I do not know what is going on. He never joined the dharna. Absolutely blatant lie," Banerjee told reporters after calling off her demonstration on the third day this evening.
Earlier during the day, the Union Home Ministry, which is the cadre controlling authority of the Indian Police Service officers in the country, asked the West Bengal chief secretary to initiate the process against Kumar. The ministry said that as per information received by it, Kumar sat on a dharna along with some police officers with the West Bengal chief minister, which is prima facie in contravention of the extant provisions of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968 and All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969.
Banerjee said it was the job of a police officer to give protection to the prime minister and chief ministers. "And please remember the duty of the police as per protocol is to be with the prime minister, the chief minister or the governor to give security to them. That is the law. Even during election time, the CPs, SPs stay at the spot with VIPs while performing their duty," she said.
"I am the chief minister. Can't they talk to me downstairs if any consultation is needed," she said adding that she held a Cabinet meeting with all her ministers inside a police outpost next to the dais Monday. What is this going on," she asked slamming the MHA missive.