Mamata attacks Centre over CBI arrests

Express News Service
KOLKATA:  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday called the CBI’s arrest of three Trinamool Congress MLAs, including two ministers, an act of vendetta politics. She said the two ministers, who were arrested, were playing a key role in the state’s fight against Covid-19.  It was for the first time she was speaking in public after Monday’s arrest of three party MLAs by the central agency. 

“Two ministers Bobby (Firhad Hakim) and Subrata Mukherjee were playing a key role (in the battle against Covid-19). Bobby works hard and is always on the field. He was among those who took the vaccine during its trial run,” the chief minister said.  “They are detained for four days. We are dealing with the Covid situation by adopting alternative measures. But no one can substitute anyone,’’ Mamata said at the state secretariat.

Without naming the BJP, she said, “They don’t have time to look at the plight of the common people at this hour of crisis. But they have time to practice politics of vendetta.’’The CBI on Monday, arrested Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee, Transport and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, Trinamool Congress MLA Madan Mitra and former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee in connection with the Narada sting operation case. 

On Thursday evening, Mamata, while returning to her residence from the state secretariat went to Hakim’s house and met his daughter Sabba. She reportedly told Sabba that it is a political battle which the TMC will win. Though Mamata did not name the BJP, her party functionaries have accused the saffron camp of using the central agency against the TMC leaders as a retribution for their defeat in the recently-concluded Assembly elections in the state.

The TMC’s spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said the BJP is playing a game of dirty politics. “BJP’s national vide-president Mukul Roy and Nandigram MLA Suvendu Adhikari are also accused in the case. But they are left untouched because they are under the umbrella of the BJP,” he alleged.