State to move SC challenging order

How did BJP state president know about verdict in advance, questions Mamata Oppn seeks removal of 'tainted' ministers
Report by: 
EOI CORRESPONDENT
Kolkata
17 Mar 2017

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today put up a brave front before the Narada salvo of Calcutta High Court saying that her government as well as her party the Trinamool Congress would move the Supreme Court challenging the order of the High Court for a preliminary CBI inquiry into the Narada sting operation.

The first major allegation of the chief minister was that how state BJP president Dilip Ghosh predicted the CBI inquiry one month before the judgement. Incidentally in the party rally at Shahid Minar on February 17 the BJP functionary said that so far as Sharada chit fund case investigation was concerned the CBI would speed up the investigation after the results of UP elections were brought out. A day before at a media conference at the party office BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha made the same claim. At today's media conference at Nabanna Mamata harped on the issue several times. ``It was at the BJP party office that the sting operation was first announced. And at the High Court the verdict has been reserved for quite some time and now CBI has been given the charge for conducting the inquiry. How do you explain it? How could the BJP president know about it one month ago? This should be investigated. We will fight it out legally and politically,” Mamata said.

The second issue that the chief minister raised was that the Calcutta High Court did not allow the state government to investigate into the matter. ``The Kolkata police started investigating into the matter but it was unfortunate that they stopped the inquiry within 24 hours,'' Mamata said. So far as the issue of money given to TMC leaders is concerned that was shown on the Narada video, Mamata said that it was a common practice during election time to give donation to political parties. ``We receive donations and file all returns to the income tax department and furnish all details to the Election Commission. We maintain transparency at all levels. In fact one or two lakhs (during election time) do not matter. What happened at UP elections? How many crores of rupees were spent there during the elections? We want to know, people want to know,'' Mamata said.

Referring to the court's observation that people had lost faith in her government Mamata said it was the people who brought her to power. ``The court can criticise the role of the government but they cannot say people had lost faith in us. This was made an issue in the elections of 2016. Three of my ministers Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim and Shovon Chatterjee who were accused fought the elections and they won. In fact faith of the people in us remains intact,'' Mamata said. On the Calcutta High Court calling the state police a "puppet" of the state government, Mamata said: "They cannot say this.. they are taking all security from police officials. They (police) are disciplined soldiers of the government. Kolkata Police force is the best in the world, I can assure you, and we know how they are working."The Opposition parties came down heavily on the Trinamool Congress government after the verdict was out, alleging that the chief minister was trying to protect tainted ministers and demanded their removal from the cabinet. 

At a press conference, CPM state secretary Suryakanta Mishra today said: "With today's verdict it has become clear that the chief minister was trying to protect tainted ministers of her cabinet". Taking a dig at the chief minister over her claim that her party members had actually received donations, Mishra said: "we want to know from when did state police officers started receiving donation for the rulling party?"

State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said if the CBI conducts an impartial inquiry into the case half of the TMc ministers will be in jail. Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Abdul Mannan said the chief minister should suspend the 'tainted' ministers still the inquiry is over. Hailing the High Court's order, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said: "This verdict has strengthened the faith of people on judiciary and I hope that truth and justice will prevail".   Members of Left parties in the Lok Sabha today demanded action against the Trinamool Congress members allegedly shown accepting bribe in the Narada sting, into which the Calcutta High Court today ordered a CBI probe. Mohammad Salim of CPM in high pitched voice attacked TMC members, only a few of whom were present in the House, even though Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not allow him to raise the issue.

Salim continued with his attack and demanded to know why the Ethics Committee headed by BJP veteran L K Advani has not even begun probing the matter despite being asked by the House to look into it.