Kolkata: As teams from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carry out multiple raids against Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders across West Bengal, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek have been raucous in their criticism of the BJP-led central government.
However, in recent days, they have been surprisingly reticent in directly speaking out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi – their favourite punching bag in normal times.
“Modi is not doing these things,” Mamata Banerjee told the state assembly on Monday while speaking about the recent raids by the CBI and ED against top Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders.
The Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) All India General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee – usually one of the harshest critic of PM Modi – has adopted a similar tone and tenor in recent times. He slammed Union Home Minister Amit Shah after a lengthy interrogation by the ED in connection with the coal scam case. However, never uttered Narendra Modi’s name.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tried to de-link PM Modi from the ED-CBI investigation in the state.
On Monday, Mamata Banerjee tried to explain in the West Bengal assembly that BJP’s state and central leaders were behind the ‘excessive’ activities by the CBI and ED in the state. In fact, the West Bengal Chief Minister brought Amit Shah and BJP leader Subhendu Adhikari to the dock without naming them.
Mamata Banerjee targeted BJP leaders during the debate on the motion in the assembly against ‘hyperactivity’ by the ED and CBI in West Bengal. Notably, Narendra Modi was given a ‘clean chit’ in the whole incident.
“The CBI is no longer under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). This agency is now run by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. ED has conducted 21 raids in Kolkata. The ED and CBI have registered 108 cases in one month. I believe Narendra Modi is not doing this. BJP state leaders are doing these things. The ED and CBI are being activated to embarrass the state government before the 2024 polls,” Mamata Banerjee alleged.
Mamata also targetted Shuvendu Adhikari – her nemesis in the Nandigram constituency during last year’s assembly elections.
“The thief is trying to hide by wearing saffron. They want to finish us. Those who have become inflated like a gas balloon, will meet their end. I know how much money you have in your house. We know how many petrol pumps and lodges you have. If the CBI investigates them, we will co-operate,” she said.
Without naming the Narada scam, the West Bengal Chief Minister asked, “how did Subhendu (Adhikari) get relief in the case in which (TMC leaders) Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukhopadhyay were arrested?”
The fact is, Mamata Banerjee has visited Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi several times. At all these occassions, the CPI (M) and the Congress have complained about a Modi-Didi setting.
Is going soft on Narendra Modi a political strategy of the Trinamool Congress (TMC)? Speculation abounds.
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