Standoff between CBI and West Bengal Police is indication towards constitutional breakdown: Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said the standoff between CBI and West Bengal Police is an indication towards constitutional breakdown and asserted that the Constitution has given responsibility  to the Centre to ensure that governance system functions as per Constitution.

He termed the Kolkata Police move to stop the CBI from performing its duty as unlawful and unprecedented.  Replying to opposition members who raised the issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, the Minister said, the way the state police acted against the CBI is a grave threat to the federal system. Mr Singh said he has sought a detailed report from West Bengal Governor over the issue.

He defended CBI action against Kolkata Police Commissioner saying the agency was forced to act as the officer was not cooperating in the probe related to Saradha chit fund scam and did not reply to repeated summons.  Mr Singh said there was allegation of nexus between politicians and influential persons in the scam and the agency is probing the matter as per the direction of the Supreme Court. He described the standoff between the agency and state police as unfortunate.  The Minister said that central forces had to be deployed at the state CBI office and residences of probe agency officers in Kolkata, as the city’s police officials surrounded their offices.

The Minister urged the State Government to allow law enforcement agencies to discharge their duties in a conducive atmosphere.
Earlier, TMC member Saugata Roy raised the issue and said the centre is constantly using CBI to throttle the opposition. He said, the CBI action poses a constitutional crisis. He alleged that after recent TMC rally, BJP is rattled and misusing the CBI. Mr Roy said, the agency reached the residence of the police commissioner without prior order.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge charged that the CBI is being used as a weapon to finish the opposition. He said, opposition will not succumb to  such pressure.  BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab alleged that CBI acting as a political stooge  and questioned the integrity of the investigative agency. Dharmendra Yadav of Samajwadi party , Supriya Sule of NCP and Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav of RJD also echoed same views and condemned the CBI action. Questioning the CBI action Badaruddoza Khan of CPI(M)  however attacked West Bengal Government over the situation. TMC MP Saumitra Khan, who recently switched over to BJP, accused Mamata Banerjee Government of not allowing BJP programmes in the state. When he was speaking, some TMC members tried to disturb him.

During the Home Minister’s reply, TMC, RJD, SP and TDP members trooped into the well raising slogans. Congress members also protested on Rafale aircraft issue.

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