India follows a quasi-federal structure of governance. It implies a federal structure wherein the States and the Centre are supreme in their own sphere but there is a strong bias towards the Centre. The Constitution of India adopted this form of federalism given India’s political situation and its aspirations. However, what happened in West Bengal yesterday has created a constitutional crisis of sorts as far as the state of West Bengal is concerned.
The CBI intended to question Kolkata Police Commissioner, Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund cases in which several TMC leaders are said to have been involved. As per a CBI official, its move to question Rajeev Kumar is aimed at finding “crucial evidence” linked to the “larger conspiracy” behind the chit fund scams in the state. As per the CBI officials, Kumar had led the Special Investigation Team of the West Bengal police investigating the chit fund scams. He has to be questioned about the missing documents and files but he was not responding to notices to appear before the CBI. However, the West Bengal chief minister has started creating hurdles in the path of the premier probe agency instead of being co-operative with it.
Mamata dragged CBI in her political blame game and claimed that the Kolkata Police Commissioner was not absconding. She further said that the Kolkata Police chief is among the best in the world. She wrote, “The highest levels of the BJP leadership are doing the worst kind of political vendetta. Not only are political parties their targets, they are misusing power to take control of the police and destroy all institutions. We condemn this.” However, Mamata did not stop here as she not only defended the top cop but went on to harass the CBI officers who went to the residence of the Kolkata Police Commissioner in order to question him in connection with Ponzi scam case. In an unprecedented and highly unfortunate incident, the West Bengal Police went on to detain the CBI team though the team was released later.
However, the act of detaining the CBI team has yet again exposed the fascist character of the Mamata led government in West Bengal. She has no respect for democratic institutions functioning in the country. His confrontational attitude and pathetic attempts at garnering publicity have created a constitutional crisis in the state of West Bengal. Meanwhile, TMC workers worsened the situation by staging protests at several places in the state. They blocked railway tracks in Jalpaiguri, Rishra, Titagarh, Asansol, and burnt effigies of PM Narendra Modi.
There could have been nothing reprehensible about the CBI proceeding to question the Kolkata Police Commissioner, however, Mamata Banerjee like many of her comrades believe in floating conspiracy theories against the central government and PM Modi. The CBI was well within its right to probe the chit fund scam case. In fact, the Supreme Court had handed over the probe to the CBI in 2014. And therefore, even the West Bengal government should have co-operated instead of creating obstacles for the CBI. Mamata Banerjee has started acting as if West Bengal is not a part of the Union of India. She wants to rule West Bengal according to her whims and fancies. Her dictatorial attitude has caused irreparable damage to the Constitutional machinery in the state of West Bengal. It is time for the Modi government to spring into action. The law and order situation had already deteriorated badly under the Mamata Banerjee government and on top of that, she has started indulging in direct confrontation with the centre. The situation calls for President’s rule in West Bengal and the Modi government must act now. The centre should not allow Mamata Banerjee to hold the state at random.
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