Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today gave an exoneration of sorts to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of businessmen under the radar of investigative agencies fleeting the country. That blame, she added, should go to the “BJP leaders (who) are conspiring”, pointing out that the CBI now reports to the Union Home Ministry, controlled by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
“Businessmen are leaving the country and running away. They are running away because of fear and misuse of ED (Enforcement Directorate) and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). I believe Modi hasn’t done this,” she told the assembly during a debate preceding a resolution against central investigative agencies.
“Many of you don’t know that the CBI doesn’t report to the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) any more. It reports to the Home Ministry. Some BJP leaders are conspiring and they go to Nizam Palace often,” she added.
“By praising PM Modi, she cannot save her nephew,” BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari later said, pointing to senior party leader and MP Abhishek Banerjee, who is being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the coal scam in the state.
Bengal took forward the opposition complaint that that the BJP-led government at the Centre is using Central investigative agencies against opposition leaders by passing a resolution in the assembly against the CBI, ED and other federal agencies.
The resolution against excesses of central agencies passed with 189 votes — 64 MLAs voted against it.
PM Modi, she indicated, was guilty of listening to his advisors on the subject of cheetahs, released with great fanfare by the PM on his birthday.
“I advise the PM with due respect. They advise you stop funds for Bengal. Why don’t they advise you stop buying cheetahs? I wished the PM yesterday. I advise him not to mix party and government… You are trying to control the nation by using Pegasus. You will be sacrificed one day. Everyone’s phone is tracked,” Ms Banerjee added.
But her sharpest attack was reserved for Suvendu Adhikari – her aide turned enemy number one, and the BJP’s biggest leader in the state.
Declaring that the resolution is not meant to condemn anyone, she said it is about being “unbiased”.
“How many raids have been conducted at the house of your leader?” Ms Banerjee said during the lengthy debate that preceded the voting, targeting Mr Adhikari, who is wanted in several corruption cases.