New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today earned a jibe from the BJP even for her near-exoneration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over alleged misuse of investigation agencies. “No one in the BJP, and most certainly the PM, needs any validation from Mamata Banerjee,” tweeted BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya.
He said her Trinamool Congress government and her “immediate family” — an apparent reference to party MP Abhishek Banerjee, her nephew and designated political successor — are “under the radar of central agencies, because the courts ordered investigation”. “She must account for the loot,” he added.
No one in the BJP, and most certainly the PM, needs any validation from Mamata Banerjee.
Her entire Govt, top ministers, party office bearers and immediate family is under the radar of central agencies, because the Courts ordered investigation.
She must account for the loot…
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) September 20, 2022
Mamata Banerjee had yesterday all but cleared the PM of any role in investigations that may be making businessmen flee India. She said “BJP leaders (who) are conspiring” deserve the blame for that. She pointed out that the CBI reports to the Union Home Ministry, controlled by Amit Shah, and not to the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Businessmen 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,” Ms Banerjee said in the Bengal assembly during a debate initiated by her party on central investigative agencies being “misused by the Centre”.
“Many of you don’t know that the CBI doesn’t report to the PMO anymore. It reports to the Home Ministry,” she added.
The assembly did, however, pass a resolution against the alleged misuse of central agencies. It happened to be the day the ED said it has attached assets worth over Rs 100 crore allegedly linked to sacked minister Partha Chatterjee as part of a money laundering probe into a job scam.
While Mamata Banerjee did put a distance between the PM and probe agencies, she appeared firm on the party stand that the investigations are politically motivated.
“How many raids have been conducted at the residences of the leaders who went to your party?” she said in the assembly, addressing the BJP, which forms the main Opposition in Bengal after losing a bitter fight to the Trinamool last year.
“You (BJP) will go in 2024 (Lok Sabha elections). Those who are flying like gas balloons, they will understand,” she said.
But her party is still looking towards her for clarity on her “not the PM” comment. Senior leader and MP Saugata Roy today said, “Only she can say what the political significance of her statement is.”