CBI vs WB Police: Have support of Odisha & Andhra CM, says Mamata

Kolkata/Bhubaneswar: Amid her standoff with the CBI over its investigation into the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s role in the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that she is not alone as she will consult many senior leaders cutting across party lines including Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu on her future course of action in her fight against the top probe agency.

Banerjee, who has been staging dharna over the issue since last two days, said, “I’m sure he (CM Naveen Patnaik) will stand by me. I’m not alone in this fight; many senior leaders cutting across party lines are with me. I will decide whether to continue dharna or not after having discussions with all.”

Mamata hailed the Supreme Court’s judgement today that the CBI cannot take any coercive action against Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the chit fund scam probe. “It’s a moral victory. We have great respect for judiciary and all institutions. We are so grateful. We’re so obliged,” Mamata said.

She also termed the verdict as a big jolt to the Modi government.

It may be noted that the CBI approached the Supreme Court Monday alleging Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar of “non-cooperation” in its investigation in the Saradha chit fund case and said it “apprehends” Kumar is “destroying electronic evidence” and he should be directed to “immediately surrender/make himself available” for investigation.

Hearing the plea, the apex court today said that no coercive action, including arrest, can be taken against Kumar for now but directed the top cop to appear before the CBI to join the investigation process. A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi will hear the matter again on February 20.

Nalin Kohli, senior lawyer & BJP leader said, “The CJI bench ordered that Rajeev Kumar would make himself available in the light of prayer of the CBI application to join investigation, make himself available and cooperate fully. Rajeev Kumar will appear before the CBI in Shillong, Meghalaya as a neutral place. The SC also pointed out that no coercive steps would be taken.”

Meanwhile, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad came down heavily on Mamata while questioning her motive behind her actions over the chit fund scam probe by the CBI.

“The big question is why Kolkata Police Commissioner was not appearing before the CBI. Lakhs of people of several states like Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal were duped of thousands of crores by chit fund firms so it must be probed,” said Prasad.

Meanwhile, Odisha BJP leader Pradip Purohit alleged that the ruling-BJD in Odisha is supporting the West Bengal government to shield the chit fund scam accused because the leaders of their own party are also involved in the scam.

BJP’s K V Singh Deo also alleged that CM Naveen Patnaik is involved in chit fund scam.

“West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee seeking support of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to fight the CBI & Centre shows both Mamata & Naveen are involved in chit fund scams,” Singh Deo said.

Refuting to the allegations as ‘absolute nonsense’, CM Naveen Patnaik said,” No one from TMC has been in contact with us in last one year. Our party’s statement yesterday had to do with events in our state. We would like CBI to do a professional & non-political job.”